Saturday, May 12, 2007

Movie Theaters vs. Cable Companies

Exhibitors are fighting Comcast's plan to make movies available in the home the same day they are released in theaters. LAT reports Comcast president Stephen Burke says he has several studios 'very interested' in promoting their movies to Comcast customers day-and-date for between $30 and $50.

Theater chains like Regal Entertainment Group and National Amusements, Inc. say they will refuse to exhibit movies that are made available in the home day-and-date, citing this would erode the magic of the moviegoing experience. reports Burke as saying, "My sense is that VOD (video on demand) goes all the way. Eventually, not only will you have primetime television shows that you can go back and catch up with, but eventually on your TV set, you will get virtually everything or maybe everything on TV when you want it."

For me, the magic of going to the theater faded years ago. A shopping mall cineplex may be able to offer several releases at once but that's quickly becoming available in the consumer's home. I don't see how the two experiences could be compared. A movie theater has a bigger screen, but that's its only advantage -- the home theater experience comes out ahead by every other measure.

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