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Dish to Bow ‘Passion Play’ VOD Same Day as Theatrical

27 Apr, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Indie film adds to premium VOD momentum

Dish Network May 6 will release independent film Passion Play, starring Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray, through video-on-demand the same day it bows theatrically.

Dish subscribers can watch the $14 million-budget movie in high definition for $5.99 or $4.99 in standard definition through May 16. The move marks another effort by satellite and cable operators to expand the nascent (and relatively undefined) premium VOD window.

DirecTV has begun offering select major theatrical releases on premium VOD two months after their box office debut.

Distributed by Image Entertainment, Play is the story about a girl with angel's wings (Fox) under the thumb of a ruthless gangster (Murray), who is eventually saved by a struggling jazz musician (Rourke).

"Dish is committed to giving our customers the best in-home movie experience,” said Dave Shull, SVP of programming for Dish. “Not only do we offer movies simultaneously with the theatrical release, but also we give our customers access to a huge library of movies available 28 days before Netflix and Redbox, as well as on the same day or prior to DVD release."

Image will release Play on DVD and Blu-ray Disc May 31.

Dish April 26 formally closed its $320 million acquisition of Blockbuster. In addition to operating a reduced retail footprint, Dish is expected to bow digital and in-home movie services under the Blockbuster brand.

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