If a family of four wants to go to the movies, admission alone could be $40 or more. Add popcorn, candy, and drinks and that amount could double. We have become a society that can not wait; instant gratification is our mantra. And so the movie windows, the times when a film moves from one distribution platform to another, has shortened. We once had to wait a year to watch a movie go from theater to DVD. But the rise of on demand and the demise of DVD sales has shortened that time period. And now movies are coming to On Demand even sooner.
"Right now, theaters get an exclusive period — 120 days, on average — to serve up new movies. Then the releases appear on television video-on-demand services at a price of about $4.99. Armed with the new copy-blocking technology, studios want to offer new movies on video-on-demand services about 45 days after they arrive in theaters, for a premium price of $24.99." So that family of four can avoid the theater and not wait many months to watch the film. For a higher price, access can come quicker. For the family it translates to a savings of $15 and more when you add refreshments. For studios, it brings a greater share of the revenue split. And if the consumer still thinks the cost to watch is too high, they can wait for the next distribution window, when the On Demand price point drops back down to $5.
It will also mean shorter windows for movies staying in theaters. Why should theater owners show a film at the same time it is accessible at a lower price at home. Movies will rotate through theater screens quickly. Theater owners must improve their business strategy and do more to improve their business. 3D has proved successful. Better seats, better food, better overall experience is another. Cleanliness would also help. Customers want to leave their home for a night out. A night at the movies will now need t be more special to keep the customer coming back for more. Otherwise, theatrical dollars will fall and On Demand dollars will keep rising.