DirecTV is launching a controversial service today that will let customers watch movies at home even if they’re still playing in most theaters.
Sony, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers and Twentieth Century Fox have all agreed to supply the movies just two months after they open in theaters instead of waiting the typical four-plus months. The National Association of Theatre Owners slammed the deal in a letter yesterday, saying it would, quote, “irrevocably harm the financial model of our film industry.” DirecTV is starting out charging about 30 dollars for a two-day early-release movie rental. The theater owners fear they could lose millions of dollars in ticket sales, especially if DirecTV lowers the price. Nearly two dozen filmmakers are siding with the theater owners, including “Avatar” director James Cameron and “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson. The first film to be offered today is the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston comedy “Just Go With It,” which hit theaters in February.