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DirecTV offers early release home movies for $30

April 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
DirecTV on Monday began offering new movies at home just two months after they debut in theaters, a move that cuts the wait in half for home film buffs.

The premium service is available only to DirecTV subscribers through video on demand at an additional cost of $30 per film.

"We are excited to be the first provider. It's something we talked about for years and now it's a reality," DirecTV said in a statement.

It usually takes three to four months for a box office hit to be released for home use. That's well before Netflix, video stores and vending machines.

The first movie offered in the early window is Sony Corp.'s Columbia Pictures comedy "Just Go with It," starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Other movies from Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., Comcast Corp.'s Universal and News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox are coming soon.

As much as movie fans may like the new service called home premiere, big name directors and producers like James Cameron, Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow, Peter Jackson and Michael Mann are fiercely against it.

Together with the National Association of Theatre Owners, they wrote a letter to industry publications saying: "The problem of declining revenue in home video will not be solved by importing into the theatrical window a distribution model that cannibalizes theatrical ticket sales."

Theaters get most of their revenue from popcorn sales and advertising, and that would be lost if moviegoers stay home.

Some theater owners have threatened to pull movie trailers or even films that are released early for the new service.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.