Monday, June 14, 2010

First Run Movies At Home

Going to the movies getting too expensive. Can't find a babysitter to leave the home to catch a new flick. Well first run movies may be coming to your big HDTV TV set. "Families may soon get the chance to watch in-theater movies from the comfort of their living room couch -- for between $20 and $30 a flick." If you start to do the math, home viewing could replace movie houses.

A family of four going out for a movie could cost over $40 just for tickets and another $40 for popcorn and soda. A couple with the need for a babysitter could be paying even more. The cost savings could be a real boon to film distributors because at a lower cost and easier accessibility, consumers might end up watching more movies and ultimately paying more money. Unfortunately, the loser might just be the movie house who will miss admission and refreshment revenue and ultimately need to raise prices to break even. As their costs rise, attendance will drop.

The hope remains that those that like to leave the house for the movie experience will continue to do so. Offering first run films directly to the home at a premium price will result in growth and not a redirecting of dollars from one pocket to another. "One cable source said: 'A home-theater window is a better proposition than the bricks and mortar store. Cable already has movies ahead of Netflix.' Within recent weeks, key studio executives have publicly expressed support for the new window idea."

Will this new home premium window be a good thing or will it hurt the movie theater business? The rise of premium networks, VOD, and other choices has yet to impact the movie theater experience. The rise of Imax screens and 3D keep us going to the movies. Innovation remains key and new opportunities should be viewed as a good thing.

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