It always surprises me a little bit that the usual Hollywood profit vs. theater owners business story, with video on demand as the hook, has essentially been the same now for like five years. And, if we’re being honest, was probably similar during the rise of VHS rentals.
On the one hand, Hollywood studios want to start releasing movies onto On Demand sooner (shrinking the exhibition window from 120 days to 45) to try and make more money and theater owners get pissed because they think no one will come see their movies if they are available to rent at home.
What’s never mentioned, however, is that theater owners don’t really make much money on the actual movie ticket. Instead of bitching about how Hollywood is trying to screw them over (obviously), what theater owners should be focusing on is why people go to the movies in the first place.
The big screen, huge sound, comfy seats, etc. you don’t have at home, plus there’s a socialization factor (even if you don’t actually talk to the people you go with during the movie). Theater chains like The Alamo Drafthouse and The Living Room that offer plush leather seats and restaurant quality food, along with adult beverages, are never going to complain about video on demand, home movie rentals, shrinking exhibition windows, et al. because they’ve identified why people go to the movies and then created a solid reason for people to do just that.
At some point, someone will write one of these stories with an interesting angle.