Would you pay extra to watch still-in-theatre movies from home?
Part of the fun in going to the movies is complaining. As in, Do I really need to pay $10.50 for a pop? There’s no way this movie is worth fourteen bucks. Look … at the size … of that popcorn.
But for all our whining, we take our theatre gouging because it’s the only way. Unless, it suddenly wasn’t.
Testing how much of a premium consumers would pay to avoid the theatre – and perhaps signalling a shift in how we watch new movies – a few Hollywood studios will begin to debut still-in-theatre films on home video-on-demand next month.
Of course, they will cost. According to Variety, Unknown and the Adam Sandler/Jen Aniston comedy Just Go With It will be the first in-theatre movies to be available at home, and will run viewers $30 per watch.
The films will show on DirecTV and cable suppliers in the U.S.; no word yet on when, or if, such movies will reach Canadian providers.
Yet that doesn’t mean we can’t break down that price point to see if it’s a worthwhile opportunity. Thirty bucks to rent a flick at home will no doubt scare off a good chunk of viewers – even if it’s a movie still in theatres.
Though, there have been plenty of arguments floating around the Web where people say they’d pay even more than $30 if it meant being able to stay home.
Certainly, the price is a premium, but if you’re a couple with young kids looking for a date night, for instance, you’re already paying $20-$25 on tickets alone at the theatre. Factor in at least $10 for concession food, maybe a few bucks for parking and – this might be the biggest cost – the need to get a babysitter on top of that, and suddenly $30 starts to look like a steal.
In fact, to further that point, let’s say you’re with a group of friends headed out to the theatre. Even if the price of that movie was $50 to watch at home on-demand, you’re still now in the ballpark of, “Well, that’s expensive, but it’s surely less than we’d pay on tickets with the bunch of us, and we can just order pizza or something, split the cost and still save money all told.” Guys, at least, use this same logic on $60 UFC, boxing or wrestling pay-per-views all the time.
Now, who knows if we’ll ever to get to this point? Unknown and Just Go With It will only be made available on-demand because they’re at the tail-end of their theatre runs (that’s the only way studios would agree to release the films ahead of their DVD dates). But it sure seems like we’re headed to a place where, if studios felt so inclined, they could release a movie on-demand at the same time it debuts in theatres, charge $50 per order and a good chunk of filmgoers would consider paying.
If you could, would you pay upwards of $30 to watch a still-in-theatres movie from home?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
*Follow Jason on Twitter here.
Posted by: William | Apr 11, 2021 7:04:16 PM
Posted by: Chip | Apr 12, 2021 12:11:16 PM
Buckland... you're a putz. You CANNOT compare this to UFC, boxing or wrestling pay-per-views unless these live matches are in your town. Secondly, people go to "theatres" or movie complexes to experience the HUGE screens and sensurround. Therefore, if the pricing structure reported is factual or even close to it... it'll still be cheaper to go to the theatre, unless you have 10 people sitting in front of the 20 foot movie screen you've installed in your studio apartment.
Posted by: Steven | Apr 13, 2021 5:52:50 AM
Depending on the movie I might pay upwards $30 to watch a still in theater movie at home.
I am puzzled by this "sensurround" Chip is referring to or what it has to do with the question in bold.
That said, watching a new release at home (not edited for the cinema's 12 year old audience) surrounded by a few good friends, good food, clean carpets and washrooms sounds awesome.
Posted by: Dale | Apr 13, 2021 9:31:55 AM
It would be greatly appreciated if you would concentrate less on slandering the writer of this blog, and perhaps paying some attention to your counter points. Consider the following:
-Why can't movies on demand be compared to a pay-per-view event such as UFC or boxing? The idea is that people are looking for a shared experience, without paying obscene prices or having to go through the trouble of attending said events in person. Further, it does not really matter if the event is nearby or not. The medium you are utilizing is television either way. I recognize those other events are live, but the suggested logic is still the same: people are getting together to watch an event on tv.
-You suggest that the sole reason people attend theatres if for the experience that cannot be replicated at home. Certainly that is a very good point, but not applicable to all situations. Believe it or not, many movies do not need to be shown on the big screen to express artistic merit or entertain viewers.
-If you have gone to a movie theatre recently, ticket prices are in the $10 range for a single ticket. 3D movies often run for $15. Basic math says that you don't need twenty people to cover the $30 fee proposed to watch in-theatre movies at home.
Posted by: Chip | Apr 15, 2021 5:44:29 AM
@ Dale... Chip and Dale LOL. I digress. In answering your points... the topic is NOT pay-per-view... the topic is paying $30. to watch a still-in-theatre movie at home. As such... my point is that the monetary difference in watching a movie at the theatre ($12.00) and at home ($30.00) under this concept is a variable difference of $18.00. Unless someone's a pig and forks out $18.00 for cheeze-whiz nachos, watered-down iced drinks or a big bag of popcorn... you're out anywhere between $10-$18. Which means that unless you're treating this as a restaurant outing instead of a movie outing... at least 2 people could attend the theatre for less than $30. And if you have a 27"-32" TV at home with no home movie theatre system... you're NOT fully experiencing the SFX or the surround sound you would obviously get in a theatre.
Posted by: Chip | Apr 15, 2021 5:57:36 AM
As far as Bucky's comparison of guys using this same logic on $60 UFC, boxing or wrestling pay-per-views... again, attending any of these events IN PERSON speaks to the excitement of actually being there, the ambiance if you will, being in the middle of the crowd. Same applies to attending a hockey, baseball, football or other sporting event. Rational, sane people attend these games to experience the LIVE action... not to get completely drunk out of their freekin' minds on $12. beers and the aforementioned cheeze-whiz flavored nachos and footlong hotdogs. Otherwise, the "boys" can gather their fat beer guzzling, cigarette/joint smoking and chip munching butts in their basement and get their kicks out of high fiving each other on the way to the fridge. Might make LIVE sporting events more enjoyable for those people attending and who can still watch them after 15 minutes.
Posted by: KJ Collins | Apr 15, 2021 4:17:25 PM
Why would I pay EXTRA? The coffee truck guy will sell you a DVD copy for 2$....Ok,ok, so the subtitles are in Lithuainian....or is it Cantonese? I always get those two mixed up.
Posted by: Benchwarmer | Apr 17, 2021 7:54:31 AM
Not on your life.NO way As a matter of fact its hight time that the costs to go and see a movie was reduced by at least 50%. The movie moguls are all complaining that attendance at theatres is down and they are not seeing enough people to make back thier investments on many movies. The movie theatres have to charge an arm and a leg for popcorn and soda fountain soda just to pay for the rights to show the damned films. Its all about simply bigger numbers with no interest in providing entertainment at a reasonable cost anymore. Drop all the costs in half and see how many millions more people would actually go out to see the films. Put it within the ability of all income levels to actually be able to afford to go see a movie. Could be these movies now just plainly stink or is it more likely that most people who'd enjoy going to see a movie can no longer afford the costs. Due of course to many other factors not to mention that the costs to see first run films in large city like Toronto average more like $13-$15 per person and we all know that 3d costs more.
By the way Note to KC Collins
I though the subtitles on those $2.00 DVD copies were in Sandscrit. Guess they are all imports..lol
Posted by: Ross Prendergast | Apr 18, 2021 6:55:45 PM
$30 for a 2 hour movie at home? Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
Posted by: Gordy | Apr 19, 2021 9:35:43 AM
Not interested at all in paying $30 for a movie. If its that good, I can wait. I can wait for the bluray/dvd release, then I can wait a little longer for someone to take that bluray/dvd into a second hand shop, and get it for $10 or less! Now that makes the movie worthwhile. I have not for years now paid full price for any bluray/dvd that is not a major film release of exceptional quality. Theatres are too expensive, although, I agree with benwarmer. If the prices were cut to half, I would certainly be out at theatres at least 3-4 times a month. In the meantime, I will wait, and the move I want to see will turn up about a month or two after it's release to bluray/dvd, and I will enjoy it and be very happy about the price I had to pay for it.
Theatres are a ripoff, and studios should recognize people are tired of their prices. until then, its THEIR problem, not mine.
Posted by: stephen | Jul 20, 2021 7:27:06 PM
I absolutely would pay 30$ to watch a movie at home. my at home set up is probably the equivalent to what the movie theater has to offer anyways, and i wouldn't have to put up with the local idiots that decide to leave their trailer park or ghetto housing to come to town to ruin everyone's lives.