General Question

siilver's avatar

Do you think box office movies should come out directly on the web?

Asked by siilver (273points) April 12th, 2009

With the advancement of technology and people watching movies and television directly on the PC, would movie makers make more with streaming videos? Would this cut down on torrents and leeching?

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19 Answers

live_rose's avatar

it wouldn’t cut down on it. . .it would make it more prevalent I think. Theres no reason to pay for it when you can have it for free. The only way movies make money the reason people pay for it is for the movie experience itself seeing it on the big screen with friends.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

It wouldn’t cut down on anything.. you can pay to download mp3’s as well but people already know how to get them for free so they’ll continue to do so for the most part.

Besides that there is ticket sales.. hiked up popcorn and soda sales.. candy and all that other junk.. not to mention the business around movie theaters would suffer.. people go to dinner and a movie right… well if no one goes to the movie then the restaurants lose a ton of business as well… hooray economical butterfly effect.

siilver's avatar

but you have to think, would you rather watch a sideways, half cutoff, version of a movie with bad lighting and sound, or pay a few bucks to watch it directly on the PC in good quality? There are ways to keep people from saving movies that they watch on to their PC, so the issue of someone just paying once and giving it away to everyone can be toned down a bit. As far as the sales of over priced items and surrounding businesses suffering, people sneak their own food/drinks in anyways, and some times it’s easier than standing in line for an hour to find out the movie is sold out. but great answers so far!

live_rose's avatar

@siilver but why would I pay for it when I could download it for free, people will always find a way to take anything on the internet for themselves its only a matter of time.

Bluefreedom's avatar

The profit margin is a key factor in this whole equation. The salaries of top name actors and the cost of making movies today is seriously expensive and the studios need to go after the best sources of income to be able to pay the bills. This is going to come from box office receipts first and DVD rentals and sales next.

I would love to see movies go right to PC viewing at the same time as they hit theaters so that people have the choice for one or the other but it just isn’t affordable for studios to do this and make enough money off this type of venture. And, as people have already said, even if you do charge someone for viewing movies online, someone is going to figure out a way to pirate them or hack the program or whatever it takes to get it for free and that will seriously reduce studio profits.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@siilver Personally, I don’t mind paying for a movie & the expensive snacks. I like the quality of the sound in the theater and the picture.. and I didn’t have to set any of it up myself. I like the taste of theater popcorn and expensive soda.. and I like to get out of the house too.. I don’t want to plug into the matrix and sit on my butt the rest of my life like some of the script kiddies running around these days.. this quality of experience just isn’t desired by everyone… for many people a movie is a movie is a movie regardless of the fidelity.. those are the people who will download anything/everything for free.. they are called leeches.. and they certainly ARE leeches in more ways than one.

siilver's avatar

@Bluefreedom i agree. but then again, look at CDs. they were once $15, now you can buy songs for $.99. then again, lol, people d/l those illegally too. Here, tickets are around $10 for a movie, well, i wouldn’t mind paying $5 or so for the convenience. plus, you would cut out the theater costs too.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@siilver. That’s true but we’re talking about a huge difference in costs here. It is less expensive to make music and CD’s than what it costs to produce a blockbuster movie that could surpass 100 million dollars or more. There are alot of entities involved in the moviemaking process and they’re going to expect a return on their investment when the film is released.

digitaldogs's avatar

I too prefer enjoying movies on the big screen. And w Digital 3D becoming more and more popular films shown in 3D will keep theater seats filled until they find a way to bring 3D home (which is really right around the corner at this point, imagine…interacting w the web in 3D!).

I have to say it’s lovely having the advantage of all this free media so handy, but you got to stop n think for a minute… if this trend continues we won’t have very many good films or tv anymore. Who’s going to keep wasting their money making big budget films w lots of SpFx when no one wants to pay for anything? That’s a losing business plan if I ever heard of one.
Or an opp for humongous product placement <shudder>

siilver's avatar

@digitaldogs but don’t forget, you can hook up cables to the HDTV’s now, so you could watch it in 100000000i (lol) and with a great sound system you could have the same experience, without the babies and cell phones.

rooeytoo's avatar

One must also consider the ancillary businesses that would be affected, such as video rental. That is not as big as it used to be but still around. But I think that business will die out as broadband speeds increase and more people have the technology in their homes to download a feature film. You can do it now from iTunes store. The other thing that is discussed is doing away with dvd’s and using flash drives instead, they are a lot more robust than dvd’s.

digitaldogs's avatar

@silver true, n we do have one of those 52” monsters & digi sound sys, but like NaturalMineralWater said above, **I like getting out of the house and not staying plugging out of the matrix sometimes!**

(hey BTW, can we use html in our fluther responses?)

siilver's avatar

@digitaldogs i think people who go out to the movies will continue to, but sometimes it’s just nice to sit at home and watch a new movie without having to beat all the freaks and geeks to the midnight screenings. and as far as HTML goes… idk, try it and see. Oh, and make this a great question too!

StellarAirman's avatar

This can be a tough subject and in some ways it would make sense to release them on the web from day one (And who says they have to be free? The studios could still charge a fee for watching them). It would not completely eliminate pirating or someone in the theater with a camera, but it would cut down on it some I think. A lot of people pirate because they want to enjoy the content how they want to enjoy it, not the way that makes the studios the most money. Others pirate because they want everything free. The people that just want everything free, you are not going to win over. It’s a lost cause. The people that want content more conveniently, they still have a chance of winning over.

For instance instead of being afraid of MP3s and online music sales from the beginning and trying to pretend it wasn’t happening and trying to destroy it, imagine if they had embraced it from the start and started figuring out ways to distribute them online. They wouldn’t be playing catch-up now and piracy may not have ballooned to what it is today. Napster simply provided an easier and more convenient way to acquire music than what the labels were offering. Online music sales are successful today, so there is obviously a large amount of people that just wanted the convenience. (Again, there are others that just want it free, and you will not win those people over)

I like the theater “experience” for big action movies, but for others I find it over-priced, a hassle to drive to the theater, and I’m usually so angry at the other people in the theater for talking, messing with their cell phones, bringing a crying baby to a movie, etc that I can’t even concentrate on or enjoy the movie.

The current distribution model generates the most money for the studios. They charge crazy prices for you to see a movie at the theater, where the companies running the theaters gouge customers with the price of concessions. Next the studios profit from on-demand and pay-per-view, where some people that saw the movie in the theater will pay for it again, and others will still pay a high price to see it the first time. Next is DVD where some people will purchase the DVD for the price that they paid for 2 people to see it in the theater in the first place, or rent it for a few bucks. Finally it comes on cable networks like HBO where it is paid for by your premium subscription, then it finally airs on TV where it’s paid for by advertisements. THEN, they resell it all to you again with the next media format that comes out. For instance buying DVD copies of the movies you owned on VHS, then buying Blu-Ray instead of DVD, and on and on.

If they changed the model and put the movie available online from day one, they are losing out on a lot of revenue from repeat viewings and charging people ridiculous prices to see it when it first comes out.

Many industries work the same way and they prey on people wanting the latest and greatest. For instance video games, which start out at $60 to capture early demand for the game at the highest possible price, then within 6 months they’ve usually dropped down to $40 or less.

I think the studios will resist immediate online distribution for as long as possible, and really, it makes sense, as their profits would take a very serious hit if they offered them online immediately unless they charged like $30 for each one. However, I see no reason why they shouldn’t release them online at the same time as they release them on DVD, and a lot of studios still resist doing this. It is inevitable that online distribution will continue to grow, and with devices like the AppleTV that make it easy to rent and download online, there is no reason for them to not embrace that as much as possible. It saves them the cost of pressing the DVDs, designing the cases, shipping them, etc.

However, I imagine that the customers will eventually force their hand into changing their business model just like they did with music. Instead of fearing change they are eventually going to have to embrace it and actually stay ahead of customers and technology rather than dragging behind it.

Mr_M's avatar

I think the movie theater as we know it is becoming obsolete. Notice there are a lot of 3D movies lately to get crowds in? And IMAX.
I’m happy with even VHS. I’ve a nice size TV that will get bigger and bigger down the road. To sacrifice “Giant Screen” these days is not much of a sacrifice anymore. Even watching the movie three months after it comes out on screen (like Pay-Per_View movies frequently are) is not a big deal now.

And I don’t have to compete with the noisy theatergoers.

StellarAirman's avatar

Indeed, I do still enjoy the IMAX for a good documentary or action movie. Definitely can’t reproduce that sound and screen at home.

However with my 54” flat screen and surround sound stereo, I can just about reproduce a theater in a more comfortable environment with better chairs and cheaper snacks. And I can pause the movie to go to the bathroom. And there are no babies crying or kids repeating every line of the movie or jackasses that make jokes or talk on their phone.

Mr_M's avatar

That’s exactly what I mean. And you can have 8 people watching that video which would cost you $80 in the movies without snacks. Why?

StellarAirman's avatar

Yeah the “theater experience” for me is a poor one, generally. The only reason I go is to see a movie as soon as it comes out. The last movie I saw in the theater was The Dark Knight. Of course I have been in Iraq for 4 months, but still. I probably wouldn’t have wanted to see many of the movies in theaters that have come out since then.

CMaz's avatar

It would cut down on making money.

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