US cinemas threaten boycott for VOD studios

The main cinema chains in the US are threatening to not show films if the studios proceed with plans to show movies “on-demand” less than two months after release. Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox are working on a new premium video-on-demand scheme with DirecTV which would see films available in the home between 30 and 60 days after screening in cinemas.

The studios currently wait up to four months before releasing movies on-demand and on DVD but now hope premium video-on-demand, where it will charge users $30 for new films, will replace income lost by the decline of DVD sales.

John Fithian, chief executive of the National Association of Theatre Owners told the Financial Times that his members were fighting the plan and had indicated they would give more of their screens to summer movies released by studios not involved in the scheme.

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