Theater owners are none-too-pleased about the decision from Warner Bros., Sony, 20th Century Fox, and Universal to launch a premium VOD service this month. Exhibitors believe that the service, which will rent movies for thirty dollars 60 days after the film has hit theaters, will significantly cut into theater revenues. Earlier this month, we learned that Regal Cinemas was making the convincing threat to cut trailers and pull posters for the four studios’ big summer movies. It was a proportional response designed to let the studios know that the theaters were finally going to fight back–not in anyway that actually benefits the average moviegoer–but in a way that would let the studios know that theaters weren’t going to take this potential revenue cut lying down.
And now that believable threat has been followed by an unbelievable threat: not showing the blockbuster movies of the studios involved in the premium VOD service. Hit the jump for more. [Updated with a comment from NATO and a denial to the claim that it has instructed theaters not to show movies]