Yesterday, Fox announced that Prometheus will be their flagship release in the new “digital early” trend. Typically hitting two or three weeks before the home video release, you can buy a digital version of movies like The Hunger Games for $15-20, with no physical version included. Like others who engage in this practice, Fox is joining the UltraViolet coalition, just leaving Disney still sitting out in the cold. A previous effort last year, spearheaded by Comcast/Universal, offered major theatrical releases for $30 or more soon after release, pricing that met with an extreme yawn and a full-on revolt by exhibitors who rightly saw this as a major threat to their bottom line. Thankfully the high price of admission sent what few movies were released this way to Hades post-haste.
There’s a great chance for synergy here between the digital, the physical, and the theatrical. Amazon has been running free ticket programs for many of this summer’s biggest releases like Men in Black and Prometheus, and the extension of his program to allow the redemption of digital copies for locked-in pre-orders in the early window if you saw the movie theatrically would both encourage people to go to the theater, and to pre-order the video, and both of those things are great for the bottom line. Retailers need to work together, and by making sure everyone has each other’s back makes for a healthier industry as a whole.
Via: [New York Times]