As Apple and Comcast continue to debate offering home rentals of the latest flicks just weeks after their release, Bloomberg today cited 20th Century Fox studios chief Stacey Snider as claiming that this will become a reality within 6-12 months.

And how much will faster access to films cost? ”Less than $50,” the executive says.

By comparison, purchasing a recently released movie on iTunes costs about $20 (the price of some digital releases drops after a few months), or $5-$6 to rent it.

“The 21st Century Fox Inc. unit and other studios have been considering ways to offer digital rentals of films just a few weeks after theatrical release, in a so-called premium video on-demand window (PVOD),” reads the report.

Movies are typically released on digital platforms 90 days after they arrive on the big screen.

While Warner and Universal have been in talks with Apple and Comcast about narrowing the 90-day video on-demand window for sometime now, they’re discovering that finding ways to push ahead with the project without theater chains on board is a tough business.

According to Snider, talks have “started to coalesce around a concept”.

She said at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference in Los Angeles that the negotiations have been slowed in part because studios are “barred from coordinating their efforts.”

Here’s an interesting excerpt that highlights the power struggle:

The exhibitors have sought a long-term commitment of as much as ten years for a revenue split, which the studios have rejected, people familiar with the matter have said. The movie houses could fight back by boycotting films that are slated for PVOD rental.

With the declining DVD sales and the rise of Netflix, studios and theater chains would be wise to negotiate a mutually beneficial revenue sharing scheme as soon as possible.

And while we’re at it, they need to come up with a fairer price because good luck charging “less than $50” for these releases, which sounds like $49.99 to me (and we’re talking about rentals here that expire in 48 hours, not downloads that I can keep forever!).

Thoughts?

  • Mark S

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. HA ha ha ha ha ha.

  • delprofundo

    ahh the old ‘BUT WE DESERVE FREE MONEY’ argument again..when they gonna work out digital is here to stay and they can’t keep screwing us in the ass….

  • Mikasa Ackerman

    Retards should simply let people rent the movie at the same cost to watch at the theaters… everyone wins. No crappy $30 popcorn, no long lines, no uncomfy chairs… movie producers will make boat loads more money due to more people buying movies due to $1 popcorn at home plus a comfy bed in which they can bang their GFs on during the movie. lol

    • Fanboy 

      That’s exactly why they’re having a hard time getting theaters to come on board. Because movie theaters rely on their “$30 popcorn” and other overpriced snacks to stay in business.

      • Mikasa Ackerman

        Forget theatres approval… they are the middle man. Let them die like blockbuster…

      • FlotsamSam

        True. They make about 20% of the ticket sale showing the film. It’s the snack bar where they make their money.

  • Personally I don’t mind this price point. If I wanted to watch a movie at a theatre I’m typically going to do with with family or friends anyways which quickly brings the rental price much closer to theatre prices anyways.

    Not to mention, even if it’s just you and your spouse, if you can skip the gas money, high snack prices and babysitter fees you’ve probably saved money 😛 And there’s the added bonus that you can watch it again the next day “for free” with other friends too if you really loved it (just don’t tell them you already rented it and ask them to chip in -jk).

    IDK, it’s not priced for everyone, but I think what they are asking makes sense considering you could watch it with a large group of people.

  • Iskren Donev

    “Less than $50” a.k.a. $49.99

    • It says no LESS than $50. Meaning $50 will be the absolute cheapest.