We’ve been moving towards a video on demand future for some time now, but it just took a great, major leap forward. At least for the sickeningly rich among us. A company called Prima Cinema Inc. is going to be offering folks the chance to watch major mainstream new release films at home on release date… for a small one-time fee of $20,000 to install the system and $500 bucks per movie.
Obviously this is a service intended just for those people so disgusting by us working types that they don’t want to be out in public; these are the people who have personal shoppers and who get chauffeured around but who have - until now - had to watch movies with the rest of us. Sure, there are some premium moviegoing options, but none are good enough for the hyper rich.
Prima intends to get 250,000 units installed in the first five years, making their service a very niche one.
“While this is a niche market, there is a chance for significant upside,” says Adam Fogelson, chairman of Universal Pictures, which holds a minority stake in Prima. “And precisely because it is a niche market, that upside should come without harming any of our existing partners or revenue streams.”
This isn’t exactly something new; as the Wall Street Journal mentions there has long been a ‘Bel-Air circuit’ for new release movies, where studios give free prints of high powered industry types and the super rich so they can screen them in their home theaters (isn’t it amazing that the more you can afford stuff the less stuff you’re forced to buy?). This wouldn’t be aimed at those folks, but would be for the next tier down.
Prima expects most of the studios to sign on early next year when the service launches. I’m going to be interested to see where this goes and whether or not it takes off; I think we’re not that far from just such a service being available to more regular joes (well, the regular joes who already pay $10,000 to get the latest home theater technology).