Universal, Comcast Team For $60 Movies

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  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    Universal, Comcast Team For $60 Movies

    They're Doubling Down On Dumb!


    By Swanni
    Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2011) -- Universal Pictures and Comcast are teaming to test a $60 Video on Demand service later this year for films that were released in the theaters just three weeks prior.

    The trial, which follows a failed $30 VOD service tested by several studios and DIRECTV earlier this year, will launch with the Eddie Murphy comedy Tower Heist. The film will be released in movie theaters on November 4 and then offered as a $60 VOD selection on November 23 to Comcast subscribers in Atlanta and Portland, Oregon who have a High-Definition TV.

    The two cities were chosen, reports the Associated Press, because Comcast subscribers there are more likely to pay for digital cable and an HD channel package, both of which are required to order the $60 movie. Residents in those cities are also more likely to go to the theater.

    Unlike the DIRECTV trial, which showed films 60 days after their theatrical release, Tower Heist will be available on home video just 19 days after its theatrical debut. Comcast and Universal officials think this might be a better test of what consumers will go for.

    "This experiment will allow the two companies to sample consumer appetite for this film in this window at this price while allowing the film to achieve its full potential at the box office," a Universal spokeswoman said, according to the AP.

    It's unclear if Comcast and Universal will test other $60 movies after Tower Heist. But what's unmistakably clear is that the studios are desperately searching for new revenue in light of declining DVD sales.


    The DIRECTV $30 experiment was a disaster; DIRECTV CEO Mike White said last month that the price was "awfully high" and that consumer demand was low. But here go the studios doubling down on dumb by charging twice as much for a VOD film. And for a Eddie Murphy comedy?! Since The Nutty Professor, people don't even want to pay full price at the movie theater for one of his films.

    This shows that, once again, the studios and their TV provider partners are detached from reality. The sluggish economy has consumers scraping for ways to better manage their meager budgets; they simply can't afford to pay $60 for a single movie.

    So, I predict:

    The very idea of paying $60 for a single movie will get more laughs around America's dinner tables than Eddie Murphy will get in all the theaters that play Tower Heist.


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