DirecTV to Charge $30 for Theater Movies post-60 days release

Boy, they just keep creeping out these sorts of ideas don’t they? Remember a few months ago when we read a report about the possibility of charging a lot more than $30 to see a movie at the same time (or shortly after it’s theatrical release)? Well now DirecTV is proposing to charge $30 for early access to a movie after 60 days in the theater. Good idea or bad? Not sure, but given that some theaters charge $12/ticket, if you have a family this sure makes a lot of sense. Too bad theater owners are NOT pleased.

People familiar with the matter said the satellite TV company would likely be the first distributor to launch so-called premium VOD, through which consumers would pay about $30 to rent a movie via the Internet or cable 60 days after it opened in theaters and at least a month before it would become available on DVD.

LA Times

  • Bringing content to consumers

    Bringing content to consumers earlier is a great thing. If they do manage to create packages for physical media plus the early VOD access, I would love to see it.

    As far as the DirecTV offering @ $30 and only 30 days before physical media release, that will be a tougher pill to swallow for a large number of consumers, but it is $30 so not many have to be convinced for it to be a successful business venture.

    Regarding the theater owners, they are going to cry foul about any intrusion of their turf, even if the asking price were double. The studios obviously don’t want to piss them off too much because they are an important market, but the theaters need the studios and titles they offer much more than the studios need the theaters. I believe this initiative will happen over their objections. The MPAA has been planning this rollout for some time (remember the FCC granted the right to use SOC (selectable output control) for this very type of service about 9 months ago). 

  • I have a hard time fathoming

    I have a hard time fathoming why anyone would feel the need to have to see a movie that soon after release that they’d want to pay a premium for the privilege.  Personally, the last few times I’ve been to an actual movie theater didn’t impress me all that much to want to go back so I can see why it would be preferrable to see a movie in the comfort of your own home.  However, I’m just not that desperate to want to spend $30 rather than wait another month or two and get it from RedBox for only $1.50.

    FWIW, I was a DirecTV customer for over 10 years and in all that time I think I ordered only two PPV movies.  I’d never even think twice about not ordering any of their special PPV events.  With all the restrictions they put on PPV recordings they had darn well better allow you to keep it for more than 24 hours.  I’m guessing not.

  • $30? Yeah, sorry but no. I

    $30? Yeah, sorry but no. I don’t care how awsome the movie is but paying $30 for the “privilege” to watch is just a waste of money.

    $20 would be a [i][b]maybe[/i][/b] but $30 is a non starter. I can easily wait for it to show up on Netflix (which means I’ll be waiting, like, a freaking year thank you stupid Hollywood).

  • I think it really depends on

    I think it really depends on several factors.  For me, if they moved it closer to the theater release (like 30 days) then it would become more attractive.  Also, if DirecTV gets it way before it is released on DVD then it becomes more attractive.  Like others have said, if the DVD release is following shortly after then there’s no need to pay $30 for a one time watch.  If you have a family it does become a cheaper option than the theater.  There’s several movies coming out this summer that I want to go see, but with a family of four I will have to narrow down my choices.  After tickets, drinks, popcorn, and candy it is a lot more than $30.

  • Tie the movie in with some

    Tie the movie in with some dining and some window shopping or whatever makes you happy and the day or evening becomes an enjoyable event.  As a bonus if the movie is a really good one it’ll stick with you long after you’ve left the theater as you’ll be talking about it many times over (not that this can’t be accomplished from a home viewing).  If it’s what you enjoy then going to the movie theater is as much about the overall experience as it is about the movie. 


    So from my perspective we, at casa de Lowtech, have never created an event around a DVD or $2.99 PPV at the house so dropping $30 for a once and done movie at home makes even less sense to me, but that’s just me of course.  Then again either of the options above is a bargain compared to an evening at a stage production along with dinner and any other nightlife you may choose to attend afterwards. 



  • The only value I can see in

    The only value I can see in this is if they did it at day [i][b]one[/i][/b] of a movie’s release in theaters. Maybe then it might be worth something (but not $30).

  • This could be a good thing by

    This could be a good thing by spurring competition.  I think the theaters should go with a tiered pricing model for movies.  Weeks 1&2 of a release could be $12 a ticket but weeks 3&4 could be $8 (for example).  Right now there is only the regular and matinee rates and I guess dollar theaters (if any are still around).  I can honestly say that the summer is the only time I go to the theaters now with any regularity.  The only movies I saw in the theater since last summer were Tron and the latest Harry Potter.  There have been movies I’ve wanted to see but the idea of paying nearly $50 for tickets and snacks for two did factor in to us not going.  That and alot of movies seem to be pretty average lately.