Folks living in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia will be able to order Brett Ratner's upcoming comedy Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, On-Demand just three weeks after its November 4th theatrical debut for $59.99.
This move is being used as a test, to see if there is a significant drop off in theater attendance for the movie in those two cities once it becomes available at home. The comedy will be available to more than 500,000 Comcast digital cable subscribers.
Earlier this year, DirecTV worked with four studios in launching a video-on-demand service that offered new releases just 60 days after their theatrical debut. Universal is implementing this shorter window with what is presumably an anticipated movie, to see if theater owners have a legitimate complaint about the ever-shrinking window between theatrical distribution and home availability.
The 60-day window of availability came with a $29.99 price tag. With this new move coming at a price of $59.99, many speculate that day-and-date home video and theatrical release options could cost $99.99.
How Tower Heist does in this experiment by Universal could dictate how movies are released On-Demand in the very near future.