What's your opinion on movies being released in theaters and on VOD at the same time?

This isn't anything new, but it's something we're starting to see more frequently. I remember a few years ago when the idea of movies appearing on Video On Demand (VOD) the same day they debuted in theaters frustrated some movie fans. We love the movies. We love the atmosphere, the popcorn, everything about the cinema. I initially brushed the whole thing off. It's great for movies getting a limited release to be seen by a broader audience, much like Only God Forgives and Lovelace got this year, but for everything else, I'd rather go to the theater.

Then I had a kid. That changes everything. Sometimes it's hard to get a babysitter. VOD is much more appealing to me now that I have a little person that demands so much of my love and attention. If new wide release films started debuting on VOD, I think I'd watch them at home. Sure, I would still prefer to go to the theater, but on those nights that I really don't feel like paying for a babysitter, VOD sounds mighty fine to me. (Plus I would've been even more pissed if I had paid more than $7.00 for Only God Forgives)

What do you think? If more movies debuted on VOD, would you stay home to watch them?

15 comments:

  1. I would watch 99.9% of films at home, even if the studios charged a premium for first run. My home theater provides me with a good enough picture & sound that I prefer it over dealing with rude people & shoddy theater presentations. I also think VOD is beneficial for smaller markets getting to see limited release & foreign titles they would otherwise never get at their theaters. It opens up distribution. There are piracy issues, but I believe VOD to be the way of the future and I support it 100%.

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    1. Avoiding rude people is a good perk. I wanted to strangle someone in the theatre when I saw 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.' Though, it could've been the added stress of that movie sucking so much.

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  2. For me, it depends on the film and if it's playing nearby. On the one hand, it's good for smaller films by new filmmakers to get the chance to have their films be seen at home so that the viewer can stay home and save money in buying a ticket and gas money to the nearest art house theater.

    The downside of it for me is that it gives films by established filmmakers like Terrence Malick, Lars von Trier, and Nicolas Winding Refn to not be seen on the big screen. Especially Malick where I could've stayed home and see To the Wonder on TV but my experiences with the films I have seen of his in the theater is an entirely different experience than seeing it on TV. I saw To the Wonder at my local arthouse theater and was just wowed by the images which I think might be lost if it's seen on a laptop or on a small TV.

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    1. Malick's movies are definitely "theater" movies. Even if I don't necessarily like his styles. I was actually really thankful I saw Von Trier's Melencholia on VOD so I could fast forward through that ridiculous slow motion opening scene.

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  3. I would still always choose to go to the cinema if I could, but I can definitely see the merits for releasing on VOD at the same time. It just gives people more choice over how to watch, which has to be a good thing, particularly for smaller films that maybe wouldn't get into the bigger multiplexes.
    A Field in England had a simultaneous release in cinemas, VOD and on TV, so you technically didn't have to pay at all if you wanted to see it.

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  4. I love it. I don't have a lot of free time lately and going to cinema is pretty much extra 1,5h for me to get there and wait for my friends who are always late. At home I can just sit down and immediately watch the movie. I pretty much go to see only big films in cinemas or horrors because audience reactions are usually half of fun.

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    1. Horror movies are fun as long as they're not filled with stupid teenagers that scream and laugh after everything.

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  5. This is a great question, and my short answer is: I love the VOD option. If for no other reason than it means I can watch movies so much earlier than I may otherwise be able to. Before I moved to LA, it would take indies a long time to make their way to my town, if they came at all. If I wanted to see Only God Forgives, for instance, I would've had to drive 95 miles one way. But for $7 bucks, I watched it in my living room with some friends.

    Since moving to LA, I figured I'd take advantage and see any movie in the theater whenever I wanted. Nah. Too damn expensive. It's $13 to see a matinee showing of, say, Drinking Buddies, in any LA theater. Why do that when I can pay $7.99 via iTunes?

    One more point, then I'll stop. It all comes down to the option. If they release 12 Years a Slave VOD the same day as theaters, I'd still see it in the theater. I really want to see that film and really want the theater experience. But for movies I'm not as excited about, VOD is perfectly okay.

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    1. That IS really expensive for a Matinee. Wow. Yes, there are definitely some movies that need to be seen at the theaters. Especially a film like The Avengers.

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  6. I'd also go to the theater for bigger releases. However, if a new comedy was available on VOD, I'd probably watch it that way.

    Like you said, VOD is great for limited releases, but I'd still go out of my way to see certain limited releases in theaters. It just depends on the film in question.

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    1. Exactly. Any limited release with say, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in it, I'd pay full price for sure.

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  7. We just had kid #2 so I love it even more. Also agree about the Only God Forgives and $7.

    I still try to get out to the theater once a week but VOD allows me to see films a long time before I would get to rent them at a redbox or see them on netflix.

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  8. There are two ways I look at it. Just like you I too and a parent and from watching almost all the released in cinema I went down to watching one movie in a month, if I am lucky. So VOD on the same day is great idea. We don't have that yet here in India, but still we have VOD released pretty soon after the release for some films.

    Although, I like the idea, again for me personally finding a time to watch a VOD is problematic. Here we have to pay and watch the film in a stipulated amount of time, and as it has happened a few times, I end up purchasing the movie, but cannot watch it in time.

    All in all, it's great and like you said it gives a bigger audience to the lesser known films, and so I am perfectly okay with it.

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    1. That's the same with VOD here in the U.S. We have 24 hours to watch it (and my cable company in particular is a little stupid about it because sometimes they have specific times you can start it too.)

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