Where to Watch Movies, in the Theater Or at Home

The time between a theatrical release and a movie available on VOD could be shrinking

Even though conventional wisdom says action adventure movies are best seen in theatres, some of the premiere directors of that genre are the first to decry a new plan which would shrink the time between seeing a film on the giant screen, and when the film will come to you.

The rule was no VOD until DVD, but now major motion pictures could be available at home in 60 days or less.

This is the test film. Sony pictures Adam Sandler, Jennifer Anisten comedy "Just Go With it."

It just went to VOD, 48 days after it opened. DirecTV made the offer with the blessing of the studio's that are trying to figure out just what the new show business model should be.

"The studio strategy is that they want to try to get revenue from people who wouldn't go see these movies in theaters anyway," according to Brian Lowry, of Variety Magazine.

Soon to follow will be offerings from Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, and Fox Searchlight.

But theater owners don't necessarily believe the theory that movie fans will still go, and procrastinators won't. They believe that a six week wait is all some people will need to stay put.

They believe they would lose not only box office sales, but the even more lucrative concession sales.

And Hollywood's heavyweight directors have come out swinging against the idea.

James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Kathryn Bigelow are among those decrying the idea, even though their films are most often the type that people would rush to theaters to see on the big screen, with the big sound.

The directors say this new idea could mean the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue.

"The true problem here is that nobody really knows what's the ideal time, and whether making things available in the home earlier will cost you money at the box office. At a certain point the only way you can find out is really to jump off the diving board and find out afterwards if there's any water in the pool," according to Lowry.

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