Paulie, Show Mr. Comcast What We Do to People Who Premiere Theatrical Movies on Cable
Comcast’s plan to make movies available on cable TV on the same day that they hit movie theaters appears to be facing an early box-office death. Two of the nation’s largest theater chains–Regal Entertainment Group and National Amusements–have already rejected the idea and said they would refuse to play films offered for
day-and-date distribution to homes. “We’re not interested in playing anything that makes its debut in the home and at the theater at the same time,” Regal CEO Michael Campbell told the Los Angeles Times.
National Amusements President Shari Redstone took similar issue with Comcast’s plan and also vowed not to show any movies that are simultaneously released on cable TV. “It’s the smart thing to do,” she said. “Movies were meant to be seen in the movie theater. … If people do the right thing, you’ll have exhibitors not playing the movies, and studios not doing business with Comcast.” Redstone added that day-and-date video-on-demand distribution of the sort Comcast proposes will ruin a film’s “wow” factor. “What really made the [movie] industry work is when you released a movie in the theater, there was a wow factor,” she said. “As you begin to shrink the window, you take away from that wow factor, and what happens is that people who used to end up seeing a movie a few times, see it once.”
Pardon me for saying it, but “wow” that’s a ridiculous statement given today’s moviegoing experience.