NATO Calls for Release of Premium Video on Demand Data

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Upping the stakes, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) Wednesday called on the four Hollywood studios participating in the controversial premium VOD experiement to release sales figures for the three titles that have been offered so far by DirecTV--Sony's Just Go With It, Fox Searchlight's Cedar Rapids and Warner Bros.' Hall Pass.

The uproar over the shortened theatrical window--the movies are being made available 60 days after their theatrical release--has drawn intense interest in Hollywood, the trade and business press, and on Wall Street. Also, various theater chains have retaliated by curbing trailer play, or are demanding different terms.

“What’s an experiment without data?” asked NATO president and CEO John Fithian. “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.”

Up to this point, DirecTV and the studios have declined to release any sales figures.

The Adjustment Bureau (Universal) is scheduled for release this week. The movies are being being made available through DirecTV’s Home Premiere at a price of $29.99.

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