At its annual Cinema-Con trade show, movie-studio executives mulled the idea of selling new theatrically movies through “premium” video on demand services on big-screen, high-quality TV sets -- priced at $30 to $50 for each showing -- 17 days after opening in movie theaters.
Apparently, these smart business executives missed the news about the exponential explosion of entertainment choices -- on TV, digital platforms and music subscription platforms.
Young millennials might not be interested in paying much for things. Think of all the cord-nevers and cord-cutters when it comes to traditional pay TV packages. Is someone missing their supply-and-demand algorithms?
New so-called “premium” video on demand” (PVOD) from movie studios would offer a 17-day window after their showing in theaters -- all to protect theater owners business for a little over two weekends. That time frame helps those businesses retain a majority piece of their revenues.
Two decades ago, all this might have had a chance -- when there was less groaning about home entertainment costs for the average entertainment consumer.
Now, in a growing digital world, there are tougher choices to make. Forget about the higher U.S. box-office revenues. For a long time, the bigger issue is actual ticket sales -- which has been flat since 2004.
Going forward, there is a marketing issue to consider. How does the movie industry distinguish itself as high-quality entertainment above other forms of entertainment, all TV and digital media content?
Yes, there will be lots more “Star Trek,” “The Avengers,” and “Transformers” franchises for millennials to consider -- and to attend.
But what about the next generation of customers? They might believe entertainment should be cheap, easy and available on their big screen TV sets from traditional TV or newer digital TV sources.
There is plenty of TV content, for example -- over 400 scripted TV -- tons of stuff consumers can’t get through now. And more stuff on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
You want to charge them $30 for one movie on a small screen? Good luck.
Remember when VCRs were new and the Hollywood types thought that they could premiere their big bucks movies via VCRs at $75-100 a crack. They tried that and sold a handful to the usual types---a few afffluents who wanted to impress their friends. But that was about it so this brainstrom was quietly laid to rest. As Yogi Berra used to say------you know the rest--don't you?
One big cinema con? An early April Fools Day joke?