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Soon You May Be Able to Stream Movies Still in Theaters

After a failed live TV effort Apple is once again pressing Hollywood studios for earlier access to movies, according Bloomberg, a move that would bolster the company’s iTunes business. Yet this is not the first time a company has tried this. Amazon was rumored to be pushing for this deal but was never able to make it happen.

21st Century Fox Inc., Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures all confirmed recently that they are looking to offer high-priced, home-video rentals of new movies shortly after they open in theaters. Most major movies that debut in theaters are not available on iTunes and other streaming platforms for a period of 90 days, (down from what use to be 6 months or even longer) but film companies are said to be looking to expand beyond theaters to find new revenue streams.

Some studio executives have been pushing to allow home rentals as early as two weeks after theatrical debuts and are considering a deal with iTunes as one option, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Yet there will be a high price as it is rumored that these rentals will costs between $25 to $50 for a new rental, which is potentially more affordable than a movie theater ticket depending on how many people are watching a film.

Hopefully a deal will come together but it could mean the death of many movie theaters around the US. It is likely if one gets the deal others will soon follow.

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11 Responses to Soon You May Be Able to Stream Movies Still in Theaters

  1. Avatar
    Dean Stibbs December 8, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    I could have sworn Vudu had already offered some movies for streaming while they were still in their theater run

    • Avatar
      Rich December 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

      They do, but mostly second and third string films. The big films, not so much.

      • Avatar
        Dean Stibbs December 8, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

        OK, yeah, now that I think about it, that sounds about right. Thanks for clarifying

  2. Avatar
    Karen Williamson December 8, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    I am housebound, due to disability…..count me in on streaming first run films!

  3. Avatar
    Karl Childers December 8, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    Those prices just might be ridiculous enough to keep the movie theater owners from standing in the way. I would never personally pay that much money to rent a movie but I’m certainly not opposed to giving people that choice.

  4. Avatar
    Ben M December 8, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    I can see a market for this for people who cannot get out and actually see a movie and if you have a group of people get together to watch it. I could also see the price being dependent on the movie….Star Wars would cost more than Hangover.

  5. Avatar
    JeffO December 8, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Is there any doubt that this is how movie makers will make money? Theaters, as we know them, will go the way of the photo mats, blockbusters and phone booths. This is a good thing, but those prices are ridicules. I could see paying $20 for a new release. I” wait, Its just a matter of time before a high profile studio like Disney pulls the trigger on that and everyone follows suit.

  6. Avatar
    Iacobus December 8, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    I pay $40+ alone just for two to watch a film in what’s called “Lux Level.” It’s a local chain’s “deluxe” treatment of watching a movie. You get to sit in comfy chairs and order food (and booze if that’s your thing; I don’t drink) on demand. No children are allowed (because of said booze). The food, of course, costs extra plus tip for the server.

    So compared to that…this sounds relatively good, though I could see it being a limited market. Like Karl Childers said, choices are good.

  7. Avatar
    Dean Stibbs December 8, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    I can see this being a positive to people who have a really nice setup (not me, sadly..lol), since going to the movies anymore is getting less and less enjoyable because of how incredibly rude people seem to be getting. I try to catch the most remote times possible now because I have grown so tired of people talking or using their phones during the movies, and theaters seem to be very reluctant to say anything to them anymore.

    Nothing worse than spending $30-$50 bucks to see a movie with some jerk using their phone half the show or a bunch of people who feel the need to narrate the movie for everyone

  8. Avatar
    Craig December 11, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    “available on iTunes?”

    O nay nay nay!

    Say it with me, movies studios: Google Play Movies, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Xbox Video.

    Ya know? Services that I’m actually going to use?

  9. Avatar
    Kb87 January 29, 2017 at 10:02 pm #

    The price they are proposing if you think about it isn’t that bad, for instance I pay on average about $12 – $20 for just the movie ticket then if I get a popcorn, candy, and a drink there’s another 13-16 dollars almost $30 just for one person to go see a movie, I personally would love the option of being able to eat my own snacks in the comfort of my own home and watch a brand new movie, in fact I have a VR headset I could essentially get the same experience as watching it on a much larger screen, but this is of course assuming they don’t go over the $30 price tag, but some people actually enjoy the entire experience of going to a movie and some movies really should be seen in a theater as it was intended.