Studios to skip theaters with new premium streaming service

Global Business

Just six weeks after a cinema release you may soon be able to watch the latest big blockbuster releases, on demand at home – or maybe even on your phone.

Hollywood’s been pushing for this for years, but movie theaters have been fighting it and it looks like the studios are winning this one.

CGTN’s Phil Lavelle reports.

Studios to skip theaters with new premium streaming service

You know that feeling when you go to the movies. You choose your seat, settle down and then the person in front decides to make a call, or talks or eats too loudly. What if you could avoid all that by watching the latest release at home? That's the idea behind a new concept that theaters are likely to dread, but movie lovers may love, though it won't be cheap. Phil Lavelle reports from Los Angeles.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Hollywood is trying to get theaters to like the idea but could go ahead with it anyway – and force them – if they say no.

Experts said the issue is how to remunerate the theaters. If cash is being diverted from the box office and going straight to the studios, that’s got to hurt.

“There is still life in the cinema industry. The theatrical experience is the cathedral, or temple, of film and at the end of the day, great films are going to be shown in the theater first or at some point because of that true experience,” Film Collaborative Founder Orly Ravid said.

The likes of Netflix and Amazon have been blamed for pushing on-demand services into millions of homes and giving viewers a taste of convenience.

Producers, directors and actors, such as Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg, spend millions of dollars on productions that could become a cinematic revolution.

Still, one big issue will be price. If you’re the kind of person who balks at the thought of paying $10 for a movie rental right now you’re not going to like this. It will be a premium service that studios could charge anything up to $50 for a single film and popcorn isn’t even included.

Reports of the cinema’s death may be premature. But, it may soon face retirement or renewal as technology pushes the movie industry into the modern day.