Remember that crazy story about how Universal was planning to offer the upcoming Tower Heist on VOD, three weeks after its theatrical release (for a hefty price tag of $60)? Well, you should. It only happened two days ago. And it's pretty crazy news, so you might remember the details just for the sheer lunacy of the scheme.
Anyway, not only are movie fans scoffing and bloggers derisively blogging at this alleged "heist," but now it seems that Cinemark, the country's third-largest theater chain (behind AMC and Regal) is taking grave offense at the move. According to the L.A. Times, none of Cinemark's 300 theaters will play Tower Heist if Universal goes forward with the "three week later VOD" plan. One detail that seems to be slightly ignored: Universal is trying this pricey VOD program in only Atlanta, GA, and Portland, OR.
But clearly Cinemark sees this as a good opportunity to nip this scheme in the bud, make a stand, and set a precedent. Given that Ben Stiller / Eddie Murphy comedy Tower Heist looks poised to make a nice chunk of change, Cinemark seems prepared to put its money (or potential profits) where its mouth is. As for the studios, they seem to be maintaining a dicey balance between placating their theater chains -- and trying to screw them over at every opportunity.
Brett Ratner's Tower Heist opens on November 4. Also on board are Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Michael Pena, Tea Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe, Alan Alda, and (cool!) Judd Hirsch.