This is something we’ve been hearing about for a while, and it’s certainly something a lot of people are looking forward to in the future: Watching first run movies the day they come out in your home.
Now to have a great movie going experience in your house, you of course have to have a state of the art home theater, which doesn’t come cheap.
You also know that the major studios aren’t going to let just anybody have a blockbuster in their home on opening day either, and it’s going to be very costly to have access to one. How costly? Try $500 to $600 a movie, and $35,000 for the equipment to run it. At least this is what the L.A. Times explained in its report headlined, “Now Showing in Rich People’s Homes.”
Indeed, a couple in San Diego apparently spent close to half a million on their home theater, and therefore had no problems spending $35,000 more that lets them rent the hottest new movies in the theaters for 24-hours, where the movies cost $500 each, $600 for 3-D films. (You could watch Jurassic Park 3D at home through this service if you wished).
This system, which is called Prima, was created by a company in Carlsbad, CA and it started in 2010. Reportedly they don’t have to bring in a lot of customers to do well, and the chief executive of Prima, Jason Pang, told the Times, “There are thousands of people out there, if not tens of thousands of people, that could buy this product. We found the secret sauce to make billionaires act like little giddy schoolchildren.”
Nevertheless, how many people out there would be willing to spend this kind of money just to they don’t have to schlep to the theater to see Identity Thief? The Times ran a poll, and overwhelmingly the readers voted they wouldn’t spend this kind of money to see a first-run movie at home, even if they had the means. 70% voted no, and in the interest of full disclosure, I voted no as well.
Unless you’ve got a lot of money to burn, this kind of thing just doesn’t make sense. What if you spend $500 on a movie and it sucks? Yeah popcorn and drinks are expensive these days, but I’ll trade in that kind of a pain in the ass for this one any day. You’d think most other people would too, because you can just wait for the DVD / Blu-ray. The window from theatrical to DVD is shorter than ever these days, and even if you buy a movie outright and it sucks, you still didn’t waste that much money.
Producer Peter Guber, who wrote about the impending video tape revolution back in the late sixties, told the Times that this is “a poor investment that will get little traction. Adam Fogelson, the chairman of Universal, also told the Times that this service won’t be “cannibalistic,” meaning it won’t screw up the current theatrical market. “The clientele is too exclusive – their customers aren’t likely to go to theaters often, if ever.”