A majority of movie theaters are closed due to the coronavirus, causing film studios to reschedule their spring releases or put films on video on demand platforms.
Many blockbusters such as “No Time to Die” and “Black Widow” saw their release pushed back to fall. However, other independent film studios and distributors don’t have the budget or space to rearrange the theatrical releases. As a result, certain films are coming out on VOD. “The Hunt” and “Trolls World Tour” had scheduled releases in March, but neither had much time to screen in front of audiences before states began shutting down movie theaters.
The film companies decided to distribute through VOD platforms like Amazon Prime and Youtube for a rental price of $19.99. Since $20 is equivalent to the price of a weekend night movie ticket with concessions, are renting new movies for an hour or two worth $20? I would say no, because as a film enthusiast, I enjoy the movie theater experience and I would much rather spend $20 to own a movie, not rent it.
However, this is a good deal for large families. I used to work at the movie theaters and I’d see families spend $100 or more for movie tickets and concessions. Watching a movie at home isn’t an ideal experience for some, but for families paying more than $20 for all their tickets, it’s a good deal.
VOD has the same appeal as drive-in movie theaters because drive-in theaters charge per car and not per person. As a college student, I’d wait until theaters open up to see some of these movies or wait until they are available to buy.
“Bloodshot” was in theaters for two weeks before they closed and the producers quickly released the movie to buy for moviegoers or rent at the usual $4.99 price, which was done by other producers as well.
Furthermore, the movie theater experience with other people isn’t the same in a living room. Without friends or family, renting a movie for $20 does not seem worth the price.