Chris Nolan, Jon Favreau Join Fight Against Premium VOD (Exclusive)

7:00 AM PST 06/01/2011 by Pamela McClintock
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Christopher Nolan, left, and Jon Favreau

The "Inception" and "Iron Man" directors are joined by Quentin Tarantino, M. Night Shyamalan and others in opposing DirecTV's Home Premiere offering, which lets customers watch a movie two months after its theatrical release.

Christopher Nolan and Jon Favreau are among the latest posse of directors opposing a new premium VOD service backed by Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox and Sony.

The Inception and Iron Man directors are joined by Quentin Tarantino, M. Night Shyamalan and David Dobkin, along with The Hurt Locker scribe Mark Boal and producer Jim Cardwell, formerly president of Warner Home Video.

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Together, they’ve added their signatures to an April open letter prepared by the National Association of Theater Owners slamming DirecTV’s Home Premiere premium VOD offering, which allows customers to order a movie at home only two months after its theatrical release for a pricey $29.95. As THR previously reported, James Cameron topped the list of original signatories to the letter, which argues that shortening the theatrical window is a detriment to the moviegoing experience.

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So far, neither DirecTV nor the four studios will say how the service is doing, but there is persistent buzz that it has fallen flat among consumers.

The latest movies offered include Warners’ Sucker Punch, Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles.

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When first learning of the premium VOD plan, some exhibitors -- including biggies AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment -- retaliated by amending their in-theater advertising policies. Regal went so far as to cut down the number of trailers it would play from Fox, Disney, Universal and Warners.

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Sources say the four studios have been working overtime to repair relations and that their efforts may be paying off. Still, both sides decline to comment.

Email: Pamela.McClintock@thr.com

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