NATO clamors for early VOD results

But studios say new platform falls under off-limits homevid category

In the latest clamor surrounding premium video-on-demand, the National Assn. of Theater Owners is urging participating studios — Fox, Universal, Sony and Warner Bros. — to release numbers showing how the initial titles have performed on the new VOD platform.

According to NATO, controversy over the shortened release window has caused major strife between studios and exhibs, and the org questions whether it’s been worth the headache. But studios contend there’s no precedent to provide those figures, as VOD essentially falls under homevid — a category for which they don’t traditionally disclose numbers.

“What’s an experiment without data?” NATO prexy-chief exec John Fithian asked in a Wednesday release. “Every weekend — usually before the weekend is over — the performance of movies at the U.S. box office is reported around the world. Studio executives are working the phones, touting the stellar box office for hit movies and explaining the underperformance of the flops. When it comes to premium VOD — crickets.”

Popular on Variety

Studios insist the existing premium VOD platform is still in its trial stage and is meant to be additive to the market. None of the participating studios would comment to Variety about the NATO statement.

Pics released so far through DirecTV for $30 just 60 days after bowing in theaters have included Sony’s “Just Go With It,” Fox Searchlight’s “Cedar Rapids” and New Line’s “Hall Pass,” from Warner Bros. Universal’s VOD offering “The Adjustment Bureau” is slated for release this weekend.

Back in theaters, those titles are still performing in a manner consistent with similar non-VOD pics nearing the end of their theatrical life — mostly at second-run engagements.

Last weekend, “Just Go With It” dropped 36% with 66 fewer locations, and “Cedar Rapids,” at 10 fewer playdates, fell 43%. Meanwhile, “Hall Pass,” down 55%, played at nearly half the locations vs. the previous weekend, while U added 14 locations for “The Adjustment Bureau,” which rose by 86%.

Of the four, “Just Go With It” has cumed the most theatrically, with domestic totals at $102.8 million, followed by “The Adjustment Bureau” and “Hall Pass,” which have grossed $61.7 million and $45 million, respectively. “Cedar Rapids” has earned $6.8 million in limited release.

More Film

  • Robert Pattinson Margaret Qualley

    Robert Pattinson-Margaret Qualley Thriller 'The Stars at Noon' Sells to A24

    A24 has bought North American rights to the thriller “The Stars at Noon,” starring Robert Pattinson and Margaret Qualley. Claire Denis is attached to direct, and wrote the screenplay with Lea Mysius and Andrew Litvack, based on Denis Johnson’s 1986 novel. The deal was announced Tuesday on the eve of the Berlin Film Festival, where Wild [...]

  • The Speech

    Charades Rolls Into EFM with Pre-Sales on 'The Rosemaker,' 'The Speech' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Charades, the sales firm launched three years ago by former execs at Wild Bunch, Gaumont and Studiocanal, will roll into the Berlinale’s European Film Market with a raft of pre-sales on anticipated French projects, including “The Rosemaker” with Catherine Frot and Laurent Tirard’s “The Speech.” Charades will unveil the promos of both films, as well [...]

  • Dexter Fletcher73rd British Academy Film Awards,

    'Rocketman' Filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to Direct 'The Saint' Reboot (EXCLUSIVE)

    After the success of its Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” Paramount has set filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to direct another high-profile project for the studio. Fletcher will helm “The Saint,” a reboot of its 1997 action thriller that starred Val Kilmer. The globe-trotting adventure is based on the 1920s novel series written by Leslie Charteris. Seth Grahame-Smith [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Jury Deliberations Begin in Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial

    Jury deliberations in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein began Tuesday. After a six-week trial, a 12-member panel of New Yorkers will now decide if the former movie mogul goes free or spends the rest of his life behind bars. The case is considered to be a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content