Universal nixes 'Tower Heist' VOD early release plan

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The great $59.99 home movie experiment is over before it began. Universal Pictures is pulling the plug on their plan to release the Ben Stiller/Eddie Murphy comedy "Tower Heist" for video on demand only three weeks after its theatrical release. The experiment was to be offered to 500,000 Comcast subscribers in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia; the price point of $59.99 was designed to be competitive with taking a family to a movie theater.

Aside from public outcry relating to the price, theaters openly disagreed with Universal's plan; Cinemark Theatres publicly threatened to boycott the movie altogether should the experiment go through and they were swiftly followed by Galaxy Theatres, Regency Theatres, and Emagine Theatres.

Even though Universal has balked, they still plan to test the model, citing this "Tower Heist" fiasco as simply "a delay [to our] planned premium home video on demand...experiment." 

So give up your plans to watch "Tower Heist" in your PJs and gas up the car. The only way to see this movie is the old fashioned way. Or just download the bootleg.

Photo/Video credit: Universal