US cinemas threaten blackout of blockbusters in VOD row

By Gary Johnson - Apr 13, 2011

Cinema fans in the US could soon not be able to see the latest blockbusters, as a row is brewing between cinema chains and some Hollywood studios.

Josh Halliday from Guardian.co.uk is reporting the row concerns studios planning on making their new releases available for video-on-demand shortly after they are released on the big screen. Four of the film studios Fox, Sony, Warner Bros, and Universal are thinking of having their new films available just two months after they are first released.

For $30 consumers will be able to rent the films under the premium VOD plan later this month in the US. But this has caused owners of the cinema chains to react angrily to the plans as they feel it will hit box office potential for new releases.

The National Association of Theater Owners has promised to fight the plans, and John Fithian chief executive of Nato has said that cinemas were prepared not to screen blockbusters made by the studios involved. Films such as Warner’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 would be affected by the action.

Paramount Pictures are said not to be keen on the idea, and are concerned about internet piracy. Meanwhile another Hollywood studio Disney, has yet to comment on the VOD premium plan. Do you think the cinema chains have a right to be concerned about the VOD plans?

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