Advances in technology have always had an impact on our movie-going experience, from the innovation of 3-D, to the recent boom of reclining seats in major movie theaters. However, not everyone sees these advancements as a positive thing. Regal Entertainment Group, one of the largest movie theater chains in world, has vocally spoken out against Paramount Pictures’ upcoming plan to use video on demand (VOD) to shorten a film’s time between theatrical and home release.

 

Paramount has already partnered with the AMC and Cineplex theater chains to make this vision a reality. The deal could bring certain films from the theater to private viewing screens within two weeks of leaving theaters. They rationalize this decision based on the notion that certain genre films, such as Paramount’s upcoming “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,” historically do not experience a great deal of financial longevity in theaters. Traditionally, most films come out on video roughly 90 days after their theatrical release; Paramount would share a portion of the VOD revenue with participating theaters through this 90 day window.

 

Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Cinemas (knoxnews.com)

Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Cinemas (knoxnews.com)

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Regal CEO Amy Miles spoke out against the deal:

“We appreciate Paramount’s willingness to seek exhibitor input and provide for exhibitor participation in certain ancillary revenues as they evaluate alternative distribution models. However the parameters of the current proposal, both economic and structural, simply do not make sense for us given the potential risks to the long term health of our business. As has been the case historically, we will utilize our screens to exhibit films distributed using a traditional distribution model that respects the existing theatrical window.”

 

At this point, it remains difficult to see which side of the debate has the better point. Regal seems intent on preserving the traditional experience, while the new deal embraces the growing trend of easy home viewing. Any cinephile will remind you that nothing can compare to the experience of actually sitting in a theater. On the other hand, increasing prices and recent tragedies may inevitably keep people out of those seats and in their homes.

 

Do you agree with Regal’s refusal to participate in this deal? Do you think VOD is an okay substitute for the theater experience? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!