The movie industry continues to become increasingly populated. Thanks to a continued focus on franchises of all sizes, more and more big budget films are released every year, most of which dominate the global box office. While this is not necessarily a bad thing for studios, as these films (if well-received) can be some of the more profitable films each year, it does corner the market on smaller films getting the attention they deserve - unless it is Oscar season.
Over the last few years, there has been a continued push to make movies more accessible in homes with various ideas on how to incorporate that being tossed around. For consumers, the potential to eliminate the trouble of showtimes and other hassles could come at a cost. While this decision could be detrimental to theaters who rely on audiences coming to their location to see films, Warner Bros. continues to push this idea while still finding a way to work with theater chains.
Variety reported on a conference call held by WB chief Kevin Tsujihara in regards to studios making their films available for easier and quicker access at home. Tsujihara is looking to push a new release model to help films that are not part of the superhero, animated, or big-budget varieties. While Tsujihara did not give specific details regarding the potential models that could be implemented, Variety is reporting that one model would see films be made available in homes 17 days after release for a 48 hour rental period with a cost of $50. Reportedly, studios would then give a percentage of these profits to theater chains who agree to such a model.
Should this model go into effect in the near future, it would be a drastic departure to the way films are made available to rent or own currently. For most movies, there is a three month waiting period from the beginning of a film's theatrical run and when it starts to be made available digitally and then later in a physical form. However, this is not a universal standard and varies for each film.
There are certainly some people who would be interested in waiting two and half weeks to see a movie in the comfort and peace of their own home instead of venturing to theaters now. Even with some becoming more luxurious in style and trying to incorporate a more relaxed feel with better seats, the distractions that can still come in a theater can be frustrating. Earlier this year, rumors began to circulate that Apple was looking to introduce a Theater Mode for their phones so people can still use them while watching movies, but this is a common grievance of many movie goers who are then distracted.
That said, this change could be beneficial for smaller productions, as Tsujihara imagines. It is possible that Warner Bros. films like Live By Night, Midnight Special, The Nice Guys, or Collateral Beauty could have better box office results if a model like this gave interested parties the chance to stream it at their convenience. However, a $50 ticket price for a single person is pricey, indicating that this model is best used for group viewings. Regardless, it should be interesting to see if these plans gain traction moving forward.