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Universal's plan to rent movies still in theaters quickly derailed

Tower Heist
Tower Heist

Universal's plan to offer a $60 rental of Tower Heist to select Comcast customers while the movie was still in the theaters is over before it started: theater owners protested, threatened a boycott, and the whole plan was scrapped within a week. These protests came despite the fact that theater owners would get their all-important opening weekend sales -- the movie wouldn't have been available for rental until 30 days after the theatrical opening.

Universal/Comcast was not the first conglomerate to try at-home rentals of movies still in the theaters; earlier in the year, DirectTV began offering $30 "premium VOD" rentals (movies 60 days past theatrical release). We'll likely see another attempt from Universal, but in the meantime those who wanted to see Tower Heist will have to head out to the theaters.