While a number of studios are discussing the possibility of a premium video on demand (PVOD) service that offers movies sooner after their theatrical releases, Disney reportedly wants no part of it.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney seems perfectly content with its current record-setting box office run and is not engaged in any of the ongoing talks regarding a PVOD for movies still in theaters.
Last year, Disney raked in more than $7 billion globally at the box office thanks for top-grossing films including “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Finding Dory.”
As the report pointed out though, many other studios have suggested varying timetables and price points for early video release films. Comcast-owned NBCUniversal is suggesting making films available for streaming 10 days after initial release for $40. Warner Bros.—which is in the process of being acquired by AT&T—is suggesting pricing films at $50 after 17 days. 21st Century Fox has proposed a $30 price after 45 days.
The current window for DVD and VOD releases after theatrical releases is about 90 days.
According to the report, due to antitrust laws, movie theaters and studios won’t be able to work together on this initiative and instead will have to hammer out their own deals with transactional VOD services like Amazon, Apple and Google.
Warner Bros. movie studio chief Kevin Tsujihara said his company and others are making “progress” on shortening the release window for theatrical films.
“We’re aggressively working with exhibitors to talk about models that will grow the market instead of cannibalizing the market,” Tsujihara told investors Tuesday during the fourth-quarter earnings call for his parent company, Time Warner Inc.
Tsujihara posits that the box office is largely dominated by the big, highly publicized releases and that it leaves very little room for smaller, more niche-targeted films to enjoy a piece of the pie.
“The middle of the market in the theatrical business has gotten extremely tough,” said Tsujihara, noting that a different release window could “change the economics of adult dramas.”