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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Universal launches $35k Prima Cinema: $500 tickets!

Prima Cinema has teamed with Hollywood studio Universal to offer the new service, which is targeted at super-rich film stars and other celebrities. The $35,000 price tag covers a digital box allowing movies to be delivered via the internet: once downloaded, they can be viewed just once at a cost of $500. Prima inspects every client's home cinema to ensure there are no more than 25 seats, so the service cannot be used to set up a commercial cinema business.
Universal is the only major studio currently offering its movies via Prima, but it is hoped others will follow suit if the service is found to be commercially viable. Upcoming films which will be available to view at home on the same day as their US cinema release include the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller Oblivion as well as past titles such as Les Misérables, Identity Thief and Admission.
Universal is confident its latest strategy to combat the effects of online and home cinema on box office will reinforce its revenues - and it does seem a smart move. Basically, they're catering for the wealthy by offering $35,000 equipment that allows new releases to be viewed at home for $500 a pop. By 'home' they mean multi-million pads with space to accomodate a mini-cinema (up to 25 seats). The film is streamed, the latest use of digital distribution. They can verify that users don't seek to abuse the service with multiple screenings and ticket selling. See below for more info, from this article.

$35,000 kit allows super-rich to watch films at home on day they are released

Hollywood studio Universal is first to offer the service, aimed at film stars – with each viewing costing $500
Jurassic Park film, 1993
Home truths … a scene from Jurassic Park. Owners of the Prima Cinema equipment can see the 3D version at home this weekend. Photograph: MCA/Everett/Rex

The experience filmgoers have been waiting for since the dawn of Hollywood has arrived: the chance to see new releases at home on the same day they hit cinemas. There is, however, a catch: to view Jurassic Park 3D this weekend you will first need to install projection equipment costing $35,000 (about £23,000), while each viewing costs $500 a pop (£330).

Prima Cinema has teamed with Hollywood studio Universal to offer the new service, which is targeted at super-rich film stars and other celebrities. The $35,000 price tag covers a digital box allowing movies to be delivered via the internet: once downloaded, they can be viewed just once at a cost of $500. Prima inspects every client's home cinema to ensure there are no more than 25 seats, so the service cannot be used to set up a commercial cinema business.
Universal is the only major studio currently offering its movies via Prima, but it is hoped others will follow suit if the service is found to be commercially viable. Upcoming films which will be available to view at home on the same day as their US cinema release include the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller Oblivion as well as past titles such as Les Misérables, Identity Thief and Admission.
The service hints at a loosening of the long-standing "theatrical window" which has long separated cinema release dates from home video debuts by at least six weeks. However, owing to the prohibitive cost of installing the equipment and showing each film, Prima is expecting few complaints from cinema chains, the likes of which almost scuppered the box office run of Disney's Alice in Wonderland in 2010.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ted director and Oscars host Seth MacFarlane is among those who have subscribed to the new service. Others who have expressed interest include sports franchise owners, Hollywood power brokers, members of the financial community and yacht owners. Prima, which launched its service in January, hopes to have 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year. The company does not advertise, instead relying on word of mouth from clients to boost business.
"This is not Netflix," CEO Jason Pang told the Hollywood Reporter. "This is an event." He added: "Prima is what private jets are to aviation."
The service is currently being rolled out in southern California, New York and Florida. It is not known whether Prima Cinema is available in the UK.

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