Theater owners’ concerns over in-home premium video-on-demand appear to have been overblown, as so far consumer response to the service has been lukewarm, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog.
Four studios — 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. — signed up with DirecTV to offer movie rentals in the home for $30 as early as 60 days after the movies were released in theaters. So far, 13 films have been offered, including "Water for Elephants" and "The Adjustment Bureau," to modest results, although executives at some of the studios declined to say exactly how many premium VOD rentals were ordered.
The studios want cable companies such as Comcast to join in the next premium VOD test, as Hollywood tries to come up with new business models that will replace declining DVD sales. Theater owners were initially outraged at the plan, although they are no longer publicly threatening to pull studios’ trailers, the article notes.