It appears Amazon and Google have decided to ignore movie theater owners’ cries of bloody murder. Last year theater chains rallied against the release of movies online that had only been in theaters a few weeks after debuting on the silver screen. They argued that the shortened time span would hurt their bottom lines.
Now both internet giants have released films this month that have not been currently released in theaters. According to a Home Media report, Amazon and Google are currently offering Magnolia Pictures’ The Hunter for streaming, ahead of its April 6th theatrical debut date. The report stated that Google also is currently offering Lionsgate’s Dark Tide, which wasn’t scheduled to hit theaters until March 30.
Theater owners have yet to react to the news that the two video websites are “quietly” offering the films as online rentals for $9.99 for a 48 hour period. However, some theater owners have previously threatened to boycott films that were, at the time, being streamed online for $30+ while still playing in theaters.
Despite theaters’ desires to prohibit these premium Video-On-Demand options for movie viewers, experts say it is currently, and will continue to be, a significant part of the motion picture landscape. Furthermore, with ticket prices skyrocketing at the box office, the $10 price tag for watching a newly released film streamed online doesn’t help the movie theater’s case.