Sony’s blockbuster comedy “Just Go with It,” starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, will be available for in-home rental today. This isn’t a reflection on the film, but rather part of a new DirecTV offering, Home Premiere.
Six million DirecTV HD DVR customers will be able to rent movies through the Video On Demand feature about two months after the original release date. The cost will be $29.99 per movie with unlimited viewing for a 48 hour period, and will be broadcast in 1080p HD.
Home Premiere will make movies available months before they can be obtained through services such as NetFlix, and well before DVDs and Blu Rays go on sale. This is a test project by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and 20th Century Fox to see if they are able to recoup some of their losses due to slowed DVD sales.
Consumers are praising the change, as it allows flexibility to see new movies. The potential market includes parents that are not able to leave their children, individuals with transportation concerns, large families that find theater experiences cost-prohibitive, and those with disabilities that forgo the theater experience…as well as those that just prefer the comfort of home.
Not everyone is happy about the change, though. Several prominent Hollywood directors, including James Cameron and Michael Bay, have distinct concerns on the impact this could have on theater attendance.
Aside from their compensation plans including a cut of the box office revenue, they claim the change will cannibalize theater sales when operators are making heavy investments to upgrade digital equipment and 3-D availability.
Several directors signed an open letter, claiming the service could “irrevocably harm” the industry and cause more theater closings.