The movie studios have been floating the idea for months now, but according to All Things D, premium video on demand is launching soon . The system is being endorsed by four of the big studios: Warner, Sony, NBC-Universal, and Fox. Customers in select markets with DirectTV and Comcast service will have the option to pay $30 to rent films that are still in theaters. Pricey, but it might make sense.
When a new movie is in theaters, the cost of an outing can actually ramp up past $30 rather quickly. In many places, tickets are more than $10. Then plenty of moviegoers have to figure in food, babysitters, or extra tickets for the kids. So, $30 might seem high at first, but consumers with nice home theaters could get their money's worth.
Hollywood has managed to keep people in the mindset of release windows. A film is in theaters for a certain amount of time, and you pay a different amount to see it than you would pay to rent it later. Rentals are often restricted for a few weeks, so you'd have to pay more to buy a disc. By doing this, the studios have gotten people used to the idea of paying different amounts for the same content at different times. This new premium VOD scheme might just work. Would you consider paying $30 to rent a movie that's still in theaters?