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.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: comcast, nbc universal

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Universal Backs Away From Planned $60 VOD Release Of Tower Heist”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
surfer (profile) says:

Re: 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.


surfer (profile) says:

Re: 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’.

william (profile) says:

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
2) it’s a movie that you can only feel the full effect on big screen
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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

CheMonro (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Matthew (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.


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.

CheMonro (profile) says:

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.


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.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...