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Theaters threaten boycott over DirecTV's proposed premium VOD

Ben Drawbaugh

Paying $30 to watch a movie via DirecTV's video-on-demand might seem crazy to you, even if the movie did just hit the theaters less than two months ago, but not was crazy as it seems to the owners of the largest theater chains in America. You see, for the first time, maybe ever, the theater business is absolutely booming and the home media business is going in the opposite direction. So while Hollywood thinks that this is an opportunity to find lost ground in a suffering sector, the CEO of the nation's largest theater chain Regal Entertainment, Amy Miles, said "if a film has a four-to-six week window to a home, we're not going to give it screen time." Ouch. The big wig who runs AMC, Gerry Lopez, wasn't any more receptive, insisting "we do not intend to screen movies released under such circumstances." We'd prefer not to get in the middle of this lover's quarrel, but we have to say we doubt enough people would be willing to pay $30 to watch a movie at home to impact the theater business one way or another.

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