At the beginning of April, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures agreed to launch a premium video on demand service called Home Premiere. Home Premiere will provide access to movies two months after they’ve arrived in theaters. The cost to rent each movie will be $30 for a period of two to three days. Some theaters aren’t too happy about this service because it could possibly negatively affect theater visits. AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group are just to companies that are willing to go to extremes to to combat Home Premiere.
AMC and Regal will have nothing to do with Home Premiere. In fact, the chains will not showcase any movie that will be a part of that service. Furthermore, Regal won’t play as many movie trailers from Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. or 20th Century Fox.
Regal’s methods may come off as extreme, but its arms are tied. Since the theater doesn’t know what upcoming movies will be added to the Home Premiere lineup, it will cut back on all of them just in case.
The problem is that Home Premiere can be used as an alternative to traditional movie going. Groups of people can go to one home and watch a movie before it’s available to rent or purchase. If those same people went to the theater instead, the theater could make money on tickets and concessions.
AMC and Regal must believe Home Premiere will cost it a fortune in the long run if it’s willing to blacklist certain movies. It may lose money from doing this, but at the same time, the movies they refuse to show won’t get promoted as well. AMC and Regal are two of the biggest movie theater chains in North America, so those studios could also take a significant hit from ticket loses.