More movie theaters are joining a protest against Universal Pictures’ plan to offer video-on-demand for the Eddie Murphy comedy "Tower Heist" while the film is still playing in theaters, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog.
A number of independent movie theater chains including Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Galaxy Theatres, Regency Theatres in Calabasas, Calif., and Emagine Theatres of Detroit said they’ll ban the film from their movie houses if Universal proceeds with the VOD plan, the story notes.
“This is virtually a simultaneous release that we don’t think will be helpful to anyone. We’re standing on principle that it’s best to preserve the theatrical window," said Rafe Cohen, president of Galaxy Theatres, which operates 106 screens in states including California and Texas.
Universal plans to make "Tower Heist" available via VOD to 500,000 homes in Atlanta and Portland, Ore., for $59.99, just three weeks after the film opens. Cinemark USA, the third-largest theater chain, said last week it won’t show the film on its 3,800 screens unless Universal cancels its plan.