A couple of months ago, Warner Bros., Fox, Sony and Universal announced a deal with DirecTV, tentatively allowing viewers to watch new movies for $29.99, 60 days after their release. Obviously, this news did not sit well with movie theater owners, who were fuming over the possibility of lost business and called the studios' act "misguided" (among other things in private, to be sure).
However, it looks like theaters are about to get assistance from some of the biggest names in the film industry: Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Jon Favreau and M. Night Shyamalan. Yesterday, the president and CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, John Fithian, reiterated his stance against the DirecTV deal, and then revealed the group of directors who would be joining the fight against a narrower theatrical window:
Early releases will reduce movie ticket sales, and will exacerbate movie theft by giving pirates an early pristine copy of movies ... The creative community understands the vital importance of robust theatrical release windows to their art form and their business interests. We are pleased today to announce additional signers of our creative community letter, including directors David Dobkin, Jon Favreau, Chris Nolan, M. Night Shyamalan, and Quentin Tarantino, as well as producers Mark Boal and Jim Cardwell.Critics of the DirecTV deal have been wondering if viewers are really open to paying a $29.99 fee to watch a new movie on demand, even if it is being released only two months after its premiere.
Would you pay that amount to watch a movie ahead of its scheduled DVD release?