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DirecTV to launch premium video on demand Thursday with 'Just Go With It'

JustGoWithIt After much feuding among studios and theaters over early delivery of movies to the home, DirecTV is ready to "Just Go With It." The  El Segundo-based satellite television provider will launch so-called premium video on demand Thursday with the Adam Sandler comedy, just 69 days after the film premiered in theaters.

Consumers will have to pay $29.99 to rent the Sony Pictures movie for 48 hours. That's the first time a major studio movie has been available on television sets that soon after playing in theaters and at that high a price.

It will be followed soon by three other movies: Warner Bros.' comedy "Hall Pass," Universal Pictures' thriller "The Adjustment Bureau" and Fox Searchlight's quirky comedy "Cedar Rapids." Exact dates for those films have not yet been set, but they will be available a minimum of 60 days after their theatrical debut. Each movie will be offered for two weeks before disappearing and then, a few weeks later, reappearing at the standard video-on-demand price of about $5.

Studios will receive from $21 to $24 of the $30 rental price, according to a person familiar with the arrangement.

The initial four films are among the first wave of premium VOD titles expected to come from other cable and Internet companies as well. DirecTV's agreement with the four studios calls for them to provide additional films in the future. Among the remaining Hollywood studios, Paramount Pictures is not participating in premium VOD for the time being, and Walt Disney Studios is weighing its options.

Since the Los Angeles Times reported in March about DirecTV's plans to launch premium VOD this spring, theater owners have complained publicly that the initiative could undermine their business by encouraging consumers to skip theaters in favor of waiting to watch films at home. Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Holdings, the nation's three largest theater chains, have all said they won't play trailers for movies that are offered on premium VOD and may take other retaliatory economic measures.

Studios, however, believe the service could appeal to people with young children who have a difficult time getting to theaters. With DVD revenue down about 40% from the market peak and box-office revenue and attendance off 20% this year, many in Hollywood are eager to experiment with new business models.

Derek Chang, who is overseeing the program that DirecTV calls "Home Premiere," said he thought it would generate new revenue before the DVD release, when movies are often not legally available. "This gives the movie new life in between existing windows," he said. "It's hard to say we're going to be taking revenue from movies that aren't even playing in theaters."

Only about 6 million of DirecTV's 19.2 million subscribers have the high-definition digital video recorder necessary to access premium video on demand. But the big question for the satellite TV company and studios is how many people will be willing to pay $30 for a movie that already has played in theaters and will be available to rent on DVD for a few dollars in as soon as a month.

One person close to the situation said expectations among DirecTV and the studios for the premium VOD launch are muted and the number of people who rent each film would likely total in the tens of thousands, at least initially.

"We'll see whether or not it works, but it's definitely worth a try," Chang said. "I'm not sure that the industry in its current state is a model that perpetuates well, so we have to keep looking for new ways to innovate."

-- Ben Fritz


DirecTV poised to launch premium video on demand as theater executives voice outrage

Photo: Brooklyn Decker and Adam Sandler in "Just Go With It." Credit: Tracey Bennett / Sony Pictures

Comments () | Archives (33)

They have got to be kidding- this is still playing at the second-run theater near my house for $3.50, and I'm not sure it's worth even that.

Whoa! $30 just to watch a "Premium" show?! Does it contain commercials before, during and after too? Netflix really knows how to gouge its customers. I'd rather wait for it to come out on the other providers. You can already get a lot of this online through services like TVDevo website which offers both live and on-demand programming from around the world. Or use Netflix for a much better deal than Netlfix.

Count me out. 30 bucks? I don't think so! I love DirecTV and have had it for many years, but there's no way I'm paying $30 for any movie that's been out for almost 3 months--and I could've seen in a theater, with its big screen and sound and popcorn and everything else for, what, $10? Nope. Not me. Ridiculous!

$30 bucks to rent a movie for 48-hrs.?

Not a chance...

This kind of greed is what is going to destroy the film business. Theater business is down for this exact reason...it seems that there are fewer movies that 'need' to be seen in theaters...most other films will be ON DEMAND soon enough. Once movie theaters start going out of business we'll see if studios are happy with the result.

Monica, your post does not make sense. Read it over. Its DirectTV instituting this policy not Netflix. Netflix doesn't contain commercials at all. The last sentence of your post is just gibberish.

Onto the topic, NO sane person will pay $30 for a movie that you can see in the theatre or for $5 on demand 2 weeks later. I think the guy who came up with this plan and expended all of those company resources into a huge blunder will be fired. I don't even think he would pay $30 for this nonsense. P.S. People who download movies for free illegally are not going to pay $30 to download them legally. I can't believe anyone thought this was a good idea.

Direct T/V is going to have a problem with the movie charges,when you can get Netflix on a monthly basis at a fraction of the cost,maybe they are not 60 day old movies but the public will wait until it comes on Netflix, instead of paying the high prices to Direct T/V,maybe they have not heard that the economy is still in the doldrums, and people are having a tough time making ends meet,so they had better think twice about the pricing and do there proper research.

Any person that pays for this scam is a moron. Kudos to the A**hole that came up with this. Thirty bucks to watch a movie for two days, what a bargain. But I think I'll wait till it comes out on DVD, pay twenty bucks and have it for life. I will say I love Directv, but shell out enough money per month.

There must be a typo, 29.99? I rather watch at the movie theater for 4 times less.

$30 to rent ONE movie?! Are you kidding me? I can't think of a movie that I'd pay that much to see. Maybe if they found a way to resurrect Bruce Lee, Charles Bronson and John Wayne to star in The Expendables 2. Otherwise, no thanks.

Well, what a deal, only $30.00 bucks to see a movie after it has left the theater, and for that I get to see it two weeks earlier and only have to pay $25.00 for the honor. Why would a family pay this when in two weeks they can get it for $5.00? Hey Hollywood, there are tough economic times in the real world, we will wait the two weeks and get the dvd. And they wonder why their films suck?

I have had DirecTV for years and love it but no way will this fly. I can't believe they think they can market this.

The only way I would pay $30 to watch a movie at home is if it came out the same day as the viewing in the theater.

Ummmm, no. Never. I'm one of the HD DVR-owning segment of DirecTV customers, and there is no movie that has come out in the last decade (and probably longer than that) that I would pay $30 for - especially for just 48 hours - unless it was to rent it for a party.

Of course, people do pay $50-$100 or more for fights, but then those are a different kind of media and consumption.

Did the idiot who came up with this idea ever stop and think that people aren't going to the theaters anymore because tickets have become ridiculously priced? If people don't want to pay 1$11 for regular tickets and $15 for "3-D" movies, what makes you think they're going to pay $30 for something they only get to keep for 48 hours??? Especially when you can save that $30 and just buy the DVD when it comes out the next month... then it's yours forever.

It's a stupid idea and shows just how greedy DirectTV have become.

While I agree that $30 is crazy, and I will never order one, I'm not so sure this program is doomed. If you step back and look at it as a whole, it may just work. A family of 4 goes to the theater. Leave out the actually getting to the theater, the restroom breaks, snacks, and focus only on movie tickets. Figure $7 per ticket to get in there is your $30 right there.

$30!!!!!! They're completely bananas!!!!!

No one is EVER going to pay 30.00 to watch a fucking movie! Let alone an Adam Sandler movie. FAIL!

This is geared for familys that cant afford to go to the movies. The average cost of a family of 5 to go see a movie is around $80. How fun is it for that 5 year old that cant have popcorn the 1 or 2 times a year the family is able to go see that big new kids movie. Not sure why the movies listed above are all adult movies?? I will stick with downloading movies from News Groups while they are still in theaters...........

30 dollars...........................HHHAHAHAHAAA!!!! OMG!!?? Are you kidding me? I am astonished and mortified that a human being/s would actually propose such a plan. How in the name of all that is holy could some corporate scum of the earth devise such evil greed? What lowly, dark, insidious, cockroach infested cave did such an individual crawl out of to put forth such an idea? Sick, repulsive, disgusting, vile are but several adjectives that could well be applied to such a deplorable design. Now to end on a positive note, providing movies earlier (for the love of Pete, why not release the movies to PPV or VOD when they are released to theaters for 15 bucks? Do you dolts have any clue to how many people would order movies at home when they are released to theaters? I NEVER go to the movie theaters..I wait until they are on premium cable like HBO, Starz, Epix, Cinemax, Encore, Showtime, TMC) is a great concept. Fantastic idea. But you must have been bitten by a rabid dog which has turned your brain into a festering greed globe. You have got to come up with a price that is reasonable and within people's budgets. Christ almighty frickin Americans have become just grotesquely greedy. You are leading the way to digging us further down to the depths of greed Hell. Congrats.

What the studios should be doing is offering these movies for 29.99 for the two day rental period but when the movie is available for purchase on dvd they should send you a copy of the movie in the mail

For people that have a large family this might save some money since it now cost $10 to go to the movies.

I love the idea of having DirecTV do a Blockbuster/Netflix type deal $30.00 for unlimited PPV movies. This would NOT include On Demand movies that are playing in theaters. You still have to pay like 10 bucks for those. But movies that come out regularly every Tuesday. I could care less about special features and DirecTV doesn't freeze on you. Unless there's a storm.

The truly sad thing about this is some people will rent movies to say they saw it before it became a DVD. I can think of Harry Potter and Twilight fanatics who stand in line for days to watch a movie the day it premieres. Sad but that is our society. Also wow $29.99 to rent it before it comes out on DVD, "RENT"" not own, wait two weeks and send $19.99 at Wally World and own it or better yet spend $24.99 and get it on Blue Ray. Well sadly enough some people will partake in this madness. Just Saying. LOL

Umm... How bout no

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