The National Association of Theatre Owners today asked the Hollywood studios involved in DirecTV’s Premium VOD trial to release sales figures for the movies that have appeared since the service’s launch April 21. The films offered to DirecTV customers so far — at a price of $29.99 and a windows-shortening eight weeks after their theatrical release — are Sony’s Just Go With It, Fox’s Cedar Rapids and Warner Bros’ Hall Pass (Universal’s The Adjustment Bureau is set for release this week). “What’s an experiment without data?” NATO president and CEO John Fithian asked. “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.”
Crickets have been the standard sound from the studios and their corporate parents when asked to comment on Premium VOD — although News Corp’s Chase Carey sort of addressed it today. And don’t expect much more from DirecTV, which likely will stay silent on the matter when the satellite provider presents its first-quarter earnings Thursday.
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