Universal Backs Away From Planned $60 VOD Release Of Tower Heist

from the joke-wasn't-funny dept

It was barely a week ago when we reported that Universal was planning to test a $60 Video On Demand release of Tower Heist only 3 weeks after the theatrical release of the film. In that report, we noted that theater owners were threatening to boycott the film if Universal went ahead with its plans. We now learn that Universal has given into the demands of theater owners and will be putting off its early VOD release of this film. This is not all too surprising as Universal would not want to damage its relationships with theater owners. However, Universal still plans to go forward in the future with this plan as soon as it finds a mutually beneficial deal with theater owners. Nowhere, however, is there any indication that Universal is seeking a plan that is mutually beneficial to consumers.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    jimbo, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:12pm

    do something constructive for their customers? you gotta be kidding me! that would be sensible and i ain't seen any sense come from the entertainment industries yet!

     

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  2.  
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    A Dan (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

    Re:

    It happens, just not from the mainstream sources. Search the site for "Kevin Smith" or "Red State".

     

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  3.  
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    william (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    I still don't understand the mentality of theater owners. It's almost as if they are not real human beings that goes to movie theaters.

    If I want to go a theater, it would be either
    1) it's such an amazing movie that I must watch now
    OR
    2) it's a movie that you can only feel the full effect on big screen
    OR
    3) a bunch of friend is going and I need to go for social reasons

    whether or not the movie is released outside theater sooner or later does not factor in the equation at all. I am pretty sure most if not all of my friend are this way.

     

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  4.  
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    A Guy (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Seems like a sensible course of action for universal. People might actually go see their movie in the theater. No one was going to rent it for 60 bucks. That price is ridiculous and no one in their right mind would pay it.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Re:

    If i was super rich it wouldnt bug me to avoid the stupid movie theater lines and dirt

     

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  6.  
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    ASTROBOI, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Universal is determined.....

    Universal is determined to make day and date home viewing work and they always fail. They tried it before back in 1983 with The Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline and it didn't work. The movie was an "art house" subject anyway and the few theaters that might have shown it refused it. Now that most theaters belong to national corporations Universal and friends are up against powers as awesome as themselves and nobody is going to give an inch. And the ironic thing is that anybody who is absolutely determined to watch a new movie at home can download it free most of the time. And not just a second-tier dog either.

     

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  7.  
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    Killercool (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re:

    If I was super rich, I would just go to a better theater.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    For just themselves, no.

    But if they have a home theater setup, they can invite a bunch of friends and split the cost like splitting a dinner bill.

    They get to start the movie/video on demand, plus they avoid all the other negative aspects of seeing the movie in a crowded theater.


    I had a neighbor who's a fan of cricket. He'd do this with some friends to watch the PPV matches.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    You should make another friend, that way you will be able to say friends ; )

     

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  10.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re:

    You just know that is begging for some scrutiny under the guise of a public performance, somehow - somewhere - in some office filled with lawyers that conversation would take place.

     

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  11.  
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    CheMonro (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Rich people pirate movies too. You don't get super rich by paying too much for things. Some of the tightest people you'll ever meet are the super rich.

    Effectively you're saying "It would be worth $60 to me to avoid the stupid movie theater lines and dirt."

    I'm saying: $60 is too much to pay for a movie.

    It's not really about whether you and I are super rich or super poor. It's about how much the movie is worth. Is a movie worth $60? Not to me.

     

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  12.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Aaaaa...aaaaaaaaaaaah........aaaaaaaaaaaah! Or so Sam Kinison might have said.

     

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  13.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Universal blows ponies

    At the same time, I feel sorry for the ponies.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    Re:

    I believe there are just a bunch of "theater owners" left, they coalesced into a pool with fewer players, with some of them being direct competitors to Universal so I see this as a way they get to sabotage Universal first, they are not thinking about the public, they are thinking how they get more money from Universal by leveraging our monopoly on the distribution channel and they are doing this because probably Universal doesn't have the reach the others have and it is afraid of disc sales falling and rentals disappearing, which is a real possibility now.

    But that is just an unpolished opinion I don't really know the facts behind it all, I'm just guessing at this point.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I do agree with you, I don't want to pay $50 for a Bluray, and I don't even bother with $25 for a DVD, now in what world are those people thinking I will spend $60 to watch a movie inside my own home that will be a one time experience?

    Are they not paying attention to OccupyWallStreet?

    80% of the people in the US lives with bellow the 30K a year bracket, are they trying to target the 15% that lives on the 50K(roughly 45M people out of 300M) I don't think they got the money to spend on that either, than you get the other 15M(%5 of 300M) that can afford that and make more than a 100K a year.

    I was watching the numbers and mostly the market share of leading companies in the cable/rental business is about 15 to 20 million people which correlates to them only appealing to those higher incomes, mostly.

    There are literally millions of people in untapped profits to be made and they don't want to go there, somebody will eventually.

     

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  16.  
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    surfer (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:47pm

    Re:

    I dunno, mebbe I am missing the point...

    content is content.. the MAFIAA create awesomeness remakes like Avatar (Dances with Wolves w/ aliens), or remix comic books into movies (Marvel, ad nauseum), but the end result is entertainment.. it's not like food, or water, it's entertainment. How is it that they think their value is upwards in the vicinity of diamonds, a rare commodity?

    it's entertainment!

    More content is being produced today, and I mean daily, than has been produced in the past 10 years. youtube.com accepts about 40hrs of content per minute!?!?

    I read a great article on torrentfreak where they posted the top 10 most pirated movies, alongside the 'alleged' gross for said movie, and it made perfect sense. If you create a great product, ppl will pay for it, AND pirate it, yet you (being the MAFIAA) are still raking in the billions, irrelevant of the file sharing count. Honestly, it was almost equal, the download count, add a zero, and that was the gross profit, 12 million downloads, 1.2 billion in gross.

    This can only lead to the Freudian belief emitted from their twisted reality, 'ppl are watching it and not paying us'. Am I the only one that sees this as greed personified? The story-lines are so predictable, I could write the scripts!

    I changed my mainstream media content consumption 12 years ago, and never looked back.. Masnick comments on 'cord-cutters', honestly, I don't get it. I have a 60" LED that I use for a monitor for a computer to view my content'?

    Am I alone? In the digital age, infinite possibilities result in infinite results.

    Copyright is about as effective as jay-walking offenses, so I educate as many ppl as I meet that there are alternatives.

    It's not about 'not paying' it's about circumventing the greed. Price movies to 1USD, and songs to 10, and ppl will pay, the days of your exorbitant profit margins are OVER.

    OWS
    STW

     

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  17.  
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    surfer (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re:

    ok, add two zeros, and no, I am not enigmax =]

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Re:

    The key word there is "could" not "will", the way Americans are they probably never invite nobody just so they don't need to clean up after.

    I can see problems arising from this, how many people would handle the pressure of another one badmouthing them to others because he was not invited? This is the country and time where people get angry at you because you didn't friended them on Facebook.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 8:35pm

    "Nowhere, however, is there any indication that Universal is seeking a plan that is mutually beneficial to consumers."

    Neither is our legal system. Look at copy protection laws (ie: infringement penalties, double standards, and copy protection lengths). Hardly any of our laws are mutually beneficial to consumers.

     

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  20.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If I was super rich, I'd make my own theatre, and have plays and shit in it and make BILLIONS! [insert DR. Evil laugh here]

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Yet for all that "content", people still pirate the (some would says shitty) hollywood stuff and ignore most of what is on youtube.

    In this digital age, people still want to be like everyone else. They still want the stuff.

     

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  22.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Unprovable supposition. The stuff on Youtube is already free, so it cannot be 'pirated.'

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You see 10 years ago it wouldn't be only 12 million it would have been a hundred million people downloading and going to the theaters, You don't get it do you, the world has 7 billion people what 12 million means?

    Means you are screwed.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 2:57am

     

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  25.  
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    surfer (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 3:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed."
    -Abraham Lincoln

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    surfer (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 3:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "In this digital age, people still want to be like everyone else. They still want the stuff."

    of course ppl want stuff, this goes back to cro-magnon man stealing women, c'mon, catch-up!

    in the digital age, there is an abundance. I remember the old days of 'Peaches' the record stores, they were packed to the gills with cassettes (in those days), of every type of music imaginable. in the digital age, that Peaches store is now the size of Texas, and the cassette size is equivalent to a 10 coin. so how many 10 coins can you fit in Texas? even if you only stacked them 10 high, your talking trillions, right? with such an abundance of content now available, albeit MAFIAA spoon-fed remakes, or kitty videos on youtube, it just makes sense, the law of averages states, 'more x, more demand for x'.

     

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  27.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 6:50am

    TRWTF is Hollywood acts like everything they crap out is gold. Tower Heist? Really? This is what you want to test out your new service on? After seeing the trailers, you couldn't pay me $60 to watch it.

     

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  28.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:37am

    So it failed before it would would have failed?

     

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  29.  
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    Matthew (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    If you were super rich and played the VOD movie on a non-stop loop on 20 different sets and paid for each play on each set and 100 more idiots like you were willing to do the same then this might be a viable revenue stream. ...And the theater owners still wouldn't have to worry about it because it would only be taking a few hundred butts out of their seats.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re:

    I suspect that theater owners get upset about shortened windows primarily because Universal et al. require them to pay the vast majority of ticket proceeds to the distributors in the initial weeks. Popcorn, drinks, and assorted snacks aside, the majority of a theater's profits are made from ticket proceeds later in the run. So theater owners would probably balk less if there were a more even split in the opening week.

     

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  31.  
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    william (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re:

    lol. That's my Chinese-English grammar at work there. Chinese don't have plural form so I am always forgetting my 's' and randomly rotate my 'is' and 'are', even after moving to Canada for more that 19 years. ;-)

     

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  32.  
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    CheMonro (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 2:34am

    Seagate just released this hard drive that holds 3Tb of storage and outputs directly to your TV. I got to thinking: That thing could hold every movie ever made that I'm interested in seeing. And the two or three new movies a year that I would want to see... I could pay to see them at a cinema or rent them on DVD when they come out.

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/13/seagate-goflex-cinema-puts-up-to-3tb-of-media-files-at-your-t vs/

    That could mean my movie collection could be like my music collection: Something that's always there, which I update every now and again when I hear something compelling. Which isn't very often.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re:

    the MAFIAA create awesomeness remakes like Avatar (Dances with Wolves w/ aliens)

    Try Pocahontas.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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