Facing an unprecedented mutiny on the part of theater chains, Universal has abandoned its Tower Heist video-on-demand experiment barely a week after it was first announced, the studio declared today. Universal had planned make the Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller heist comedy available to Comcast subscribers in Atlanta and Portland a mere three weeks after it was released in theaters on November 4, provided they pony up $59.99 to see it. Predictably, exhibitors were furious, and a wave of theater-chain boycotts were declared in response, prompting studio execs to reconsider the controversial scheme.
Universal hasn't completely given up on the premium V.O.D. concept, however. In a statement, the studio said that it ""continues to believe that the theater experience and a PVOD window are business models that can coincide and thrive and we look forward to working with our partners in exhibition to find a way to experiment in this area in the future."" Looks like this matter is far from decided.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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