First-Run Movies at Home? Sure, For $20,000S

Need to watch Burlesque immediately, but aren't in the mood to trudge to your local cinemaplex? Never fear! You'll soon be able to rent it from home the day it's released for a mere $20,500. Wait, what?

That's apparently Prima Cinema Inc.'s plan, a company that wants to stream first-run movies to homes for $20,000 up front and $500 per movie thereafter. Which is the type of crazy monopoly money people spend on keeping exotic animals as pets, not on Orlando Bloom on their 42-inch LCD. Yet according to the WSJ, the company plans to launch next year and be in 250,000 homes within five years.

I'll go ahead and say that there's no movie worth that much money, no matter how wealthy you are. I'd even say there are very few movies that are so good it's impossible to wait the two or three months before it comes out on DVD or is available on premium cable or on-demand. So what gives?

According to Prima president Jason Pang:

"We're not here to replace anything, "says Mr. Pang, who was involved with other video technology companies before founding Prima. "We are trying to create new revenue streams for studios and new viewing opportunities for moviegoers."

Well, that's not very helpful. But honestly, if even three people sign up for these shenanigans, that's decent money in the bank without tweaking the studios' movie chain partners. And hey, a high quality digital copy available that early is great news for pirates! The only injured party is rationality, but I guess that's been long dead regardless. [Wall Street Journal]