Next month, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, and 20th Century Fox are set to launch “Home Premiere”, a premium VOD service that will offer movies for home viewing only two months after their theatrical debut. Variety reports that movies on the service will cost up to $30 for a two-to-three day viewing period and the service will launch exclusively on DirecTV. Certain cable companies will introduce Home Premiere to certain cities for an undisclosed period of time around the end of April.
Warner Bros. plans to launch with Unknown while Sony’s first premium VOD title will be Just Go With It. However, plans could change closer to launch. Studios also don’t plan to release films to the Home Premiere service if they’re still doing well in theaters. Hit the jump for my thoughts on this new service.
You may remember last summer we heard that Damages, a show that was on the verge of death was saved by the great folks at DirecTV. Now that fourth season is almost ready to be underway and today we have word on a new cast member. EW reports veteran actor Judd Hirsch (from the classic Taxi series and films like Independence Day) has landed a key role as a former mentor of Glenn Close’s character. He’s a man took her under his wing during her first job out of law school, but his situation has changed greatly over time and he now spends his time “at the bottom of a bottle.”
The fourth season begins this summer on DirecTV with the story revolving around a wrongful death lawsuit filed against a military contractor over an incident that happened in a war zone. With less censor restrictions and no commercials, expect the envelope to be pushed.
Yet another TV show has found itself saved from cancellation thanks to DirecTV. After facing the executioner, EW reports the FX legal drama Damages has been picked up by the same satellite provider that so graciously saved Friday Night Lights after NBC canceled it awhile back. However, unlike the deal with NBC which allowed new episodes of Friday Night Lights to be aired on NBC after their premiere on DirectTV, this deal for Damages will have the episodes air exclusively on DirectTV. The satellite provider has picked up two more seasons of the series consisting of 10 episodes each which will start airing in 2011. I haven’t watched Damages yet but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the series and performances from Glenn Close, Ted Danson and Timothy Olyphant.
Hit the jump for a new SyFy TV movie based on the Red Faction video game series and a brand new reality show inspired by a Funny or Die video.
Recently launched video-on-demand label Sundance Selects announced today that it has struck a deal with the Sundance Institute that will see three films from this year’s upcoming Sundance Film Festival become available on-demand across the nation in concurrence with their festival premieres. The featured films will be The Shock Doctrine, a documentary on disaster capitalism; Daddy Longlegs, “a fairy tale and bittersweet comedy about the responsibilities of parenthood”; and 7 Days, a revenge drama about a man who kidnaps his daughter’s killer for a week-long torture session. All three will be available on most major cable providers, as well as satellite provider DirecTV, for 30 days after their initial release, in a special section of your system’s on-demand channel.
Let’s hope that this is the first of many such ventures involving Sundance and other festivals. There is so much original and compelling filmmaking on display at these venues. And even though the festival circuit has become a major feeding ground for the studios in recent years, many films worthy of attention still end up slipping through the cracks, never being afforded the opportunity to reach a larger audience. VOD can go a long way toward remedying this.
Hit the jump to find out more about the three films that will be featured in this project, which organizers have dubbed “Direct from the Sundance Film Festival.”
According to HDGuru.com [via Engadget], DirecTV is planning to launch an all-3D channel next year. Having just launched a satellite into orbit that will allow for this technological revolution, sources say that DirecTV will offer a firmware upgrade to its existing HDTV boxes. Once the satellite becomes fully operational in March, then shows that are capable of broadcasting in 3D will be available to 3D HDTVs. These television are expected to debut at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, which begins on January 7th.
For my speculation on what this means for consumers and movie studios, hit the jump.