Last week, we reported that Universal Pictures had made the controversial decision to release Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist on Video on Demand only three weeks after the film had hit theaters. The test case would only be implemented for Comcast digital subscribers in Atlanta and Portland, Oregon, but theater owners finally drew a line in the sand against the studios’ continuing encroachment into the theatrical exhibition business. Major theater chain Cinemark threatened to ban the movie from its theaters and smaller theater chains refused to screen the innocuous-but-most-likely-lucrative comedy. In response, Universal has relented and “continues to believe that the theater experience and a PVOD window are business models that can coincide and thrive and we look forward to working with our partners in exhibition to find a way to experiment in this area in the future.”
Or to read it another way, “You’ve won this round theatres but we’ll be baaaaaaack!” (and then Universal’s hot air balloon flies away). Tower Heist opens in theaters on November 4th.