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Universal to Bow Eddie Murphy Movie on VOD Three Weeks After Theatrical Release

5 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Studio’s move to offer new action comedy 21 days after its theatrical launch for $59.99 would appear to resurrect the controversial premium video-on-demand debate

Universal Studios Home Entertainment Oct. 5 said it will offer Tower Heist on premium video-on-demand in select markets just 21 days after its Nov. 4 theatrical launch.

The ‘PG-13’ movie about a robbery that goes haywire stars Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Alan Alda, Michael Peña and Gabourey Sidibe, among others.

Premium VOD is a new distribution window that studios sparingly have targeted with theatrical releases 45 to 60 days after box office bow. Theater operators have responded accordingly, vowing not to run films and/or related signage for titles earmarked for premium VOD.

Tower Heist would be made available to about 500,000 Comcast cable households in Atlanta and Portland, Ore., according to the Los Angeles Times, which broke the story. Comcast, of course, owns NBC Universal — parent to Universal Studios.

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