Would you pay $30 to stream a new movie instead of going to the cinema?

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sweep

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#1 sweep  Moderator

Disney have announced that Mulan will be released to stream exclusively on Disney+ for $30 on September 4th. It is notincluded as part of Disney+ subscription, which means you can be paying $6.99 a month and still need to pay another $30 on top of that to stream Mulan.

That's quite a lot of money to stream a single movie.

To put that in perspective, I bought the entire Extended Lord Of The Rings Trilogy on YouTube a couple of months ago (That's about 12 hours worth of movies) for less than Disney is asking me to pay to rent a single movie. That's also compared to the dozens of new films that are released on Netflix and Amazon Prime every month as part of a regular subscription. I don't know how much it costs to visit your local cinema, but I'd be surprised if it was $30 even after drinks and popcorn.

To me this reads as though Disney is shamelessly taking advantage of the fact that cinemas are closed and that people around the world are in lockdown, to make a little bit of extra money (which they clearly needed?!).

My question is less "Do you think this is OK?" and more "Do you think enough people are going to pay that much to set an acceptable precedent on new releases?"

No Caption Provided

I can't believe this quote is still relevant in 2020, honestly. I really hope this movie flops hard enough that Disney lowers their prices to something reasonable.

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BladeOfCreation

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I saw this and was blown away. The sheer audacity of it is one thing, then I saw people tweeting that they want Black Widow to get the same treatment. I will absolutely not be renting this for anything close to that amount.

Before the pandemic, I was a fairly frequent movie goer. I had the Cinemark subscription. A single movie with snacks (which I admittedly like to splurge on, a large drink and pretzel bites, usually) is still under $30.

As shocked as I am by this price, I will be even more shocked if this actually matters to people enough to change. The number of people who will accept this as the cost of the way things are now will almost certainly outweigh the number of people who will refuse to rent it.

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Zeik

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I never go to the theaters anymore, even before the pandemic, so the idea of paying a little extra to watch it at home on release isn't entirely without merit to me. But $30 is definitely way way more than I would ever consider. There has never been a movie I've been desperate enough to see to pay that much for a single viewing. There are few movies I would even pay that much to own.

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ActuallyDeevees

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Nope. There are a lot of contentious reasons to pass on Mulan but I think this one thing that most of us can agree on. Having to pay an additional $30 despite the existence of Disney+ is kind of bullshit.

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Nodima

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#5  Edited By Nodima

It's such an impossible question because movie (theater) prices have always been, more than any other entertainment, pretty inextricably tied to the cost of living in the city/region of the theater you visit.

I listen to a very industry-focused movie pod, The Ringer's The Big Picture, and the host has said multiple times he'd pay $99 without flinching to see several movies slated to come out pre-COVID at home, while the site's owner Bill Simmons has gone over that and suggested at various points that $200 is not absurd because every movie should be priced as if a family of four were going to see it, or a double date.

As someone who pays $10.50 at his local Alamo on non-matinée nights, that's crazy to me. But $30? I also get the popcorn which is something like $6, and a couple craft beers that ring for $7/$8, so by the end of the experience I've typically spent $30. But I've also sat in a huge room with speakers louder than I could ever crank the sound in my own apartment on a screen the size of the building I live in! I'm a Chris Nolan believer; I would engage in one random Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP experiment of your choosing in order to see that film right now in a theater.

Would I pay $30 to see it at home? I don't know. At equal walking distance as the Alamo in the opposite direction is an art house theater I've seen plenty of movies that let me down for $6-$12 a ticket, plus again the two beers and popcorn, but I wasn't disappointed that I spent the money, just that the given film didn't grab me the way I'd expected or hoped for. Again, that involved the theater and whatnot.

I know even before COVID there was a mounting pressure to eliminate the movie theater experience from our lives for all but the most spectacular of films (aka Let Disney Own Every Theater and Give the Rest to Netflix) but...I've watched all the movies baked into my current subscriptions that've come out this year, or most of them anyway, but I don't feel compelled to buy a new movie on Amazon or the Playstation Store. And I'm not even opposed to that, necessarily! I've bought seasons of Better Call Saul, Fargo and Legion on the PS Store so I could watch week to week, but those run about $25 so how can Mulanask me for $30 for a movie I already saw many times as a kid with beautiful animation and Peak Voice Actor Eddie Murphy?!

...But I would definitely pay $28 to see Tenet at home...$30 though...?

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Teddie

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I assume this is their math after taking into account stuff like viewing parties (my friends and I usually stream stuff over discord and share a subscription), but yeah, that price isn't going to appeal to most people upfront. It's certainly too much when they already have a superior version of Mulan on there that doesn't cost $30 extra.

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blackichigo

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The most I'm willing to spend on movies on VOD is 15 to $20. Anything more than that, they can eat my ass.

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insomniak08

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That is the cost of 2 tickets. It is perfectly reasonable for a movie they were expecting to make 1 billion dollars off of. If you were going to watch this movie then split the cost with a friend and enjoy. If you were not planning on seeing it in theatres then this probably isn't meant for you. Personally I am hoping that they release it to theatres in areas where the virus is under control. My local cinema has been open for a month and a half at this point and I have gone 4 times (seeing old releases but it is still nice to be back in the theatre). If not then I will rent this with a friend and it will still be cheaper than seeing it in theatres since I will save on snacks. I don't really care that you sort of "own" it at this price since I very much doubt it will be a movie I watch multiple times but I guess it is a nice bonus if it turns out to be better than I expect.

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Igort

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I think this is a "depends on the movie" kind of situation. I really would like to see that there new Mulan, but I probably won't pay $30 for it (or whatever their equivalent is here in the UK).

That new Bill & Ted movie that's coming out on VOD though? I will pay any price.

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Hayt

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If people accept this good luck ever getting that genie back in the bottle.

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deactivated-61665c8292280

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Honestly, you could probably talk me into it for the right movie.

A live-action remake one of modern history's best arguments for animated films, to put it frankly, isn't that movie.

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Colonel_Pockets

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To stream? Absolutely not. I'll just wait for the blu ray or when the price lowers. Especially for Mulan... No thanks.

If this was Tenet or Dune, I may be singing a different tune though.

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SocietySays

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I guess they assume more than one person is going to view the movie and $30 is about the price of two tickets where I live so if I have someone to watch the movie with $30 doesn't seem so bad? But I think $20 would be the sweet spot.

Bake in a option that allows you to stream to 2 devices at once and $30 would be fine.

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Intradictus

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Is this for a rental? Or to own? I've seen both so im not sure which it is. If it was to own I would easily do this as its cheaper than a night at the movies with a date, without the crappy audiences that attend my local theaters. Obviously this would depend on the movie and whether or not it was to own or rent

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mellotronrules

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depends on the movie- but to be honest at $30 the list of stuff i'd take that kind of leap for would be extremely brief.

in fact, just off the top of the dome- i'd pay $30 to see alex garland's next film at home. that's probably it for now.

but summer blockbuster stuff? only if i was having a viewing party or something. otherwise no way no how.

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Humanity

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Uhh nope because depending on your home setup that movie might not even be worth $10. Imagine someone paying $30 to watch Tenet on their 15" laptop using the built in speakers? I mean thats more of a YOU problem I understand but the theater ticket prices reflected the experience of full dolby 7.1 surround sound and a wall sized screen. After working in theaters throughout college I find it incredibly difficult to actually go see a movie in a theater like a "normal person" but I still do it for big tentpole releases because it is a different experience. Not to single out Nolan as the only director to make films like this but when I watched Interstellar in IMAX it really was a completely different experience than watching it at home on streaming. The $30 price tag is only OK if I get to own it or at least have unlimited viewing of it through the VOD service until it is naturally phased out.

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Nodima

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@humanity said:

Not to single out Nolan as the only director to make films like this but when I watched Interstellar in IMAX it really was a completely different experience than watching it at home on streaming. The $30 price tag is only OK if I get to own it or at least have unlimited viewing of it through the VOD service until it is naturally phased out.

This is why I singled out Nolan in my post. Inception is a cool movie, but it's clear how silly it is when watching it at home. Same with Dark Knight Rises and, honestly, The Dark Knight. But in theaters those were all jaw dropping experiences, and honestly Dunkirk was the strongest argument he'd made yet for cineplex as art. I happened to catch that while on vacation in a market that had true IMAX, and between the image and the surround sound, there were moments during that movie where myself and the person I'd travelled with viscerally felt like we were co-pilots with Tom Hardy in a rickety early 1900s fighter plane. I think about that experience a lot, to the point I never watched Dunkirk when it was released on HBO out of fear I'd think about it far less about watching it at home in 720p through TV speakers.

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sombre

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The pictures near my house is a fiver- any movie, any time.

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Humanity

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#19  Edited By Humanity

@nodima: As someone that watched Dunkirk at home and thought it was a really disappointing and flat film.. yah.. the theater experience can bring a lot to it. Although last I worked in a theater which was I think 2010-2011 you were spending WAY over $30 if you decided to buy food. Sidebar: I strongly urge people to not buy ANY food in a movie theater apart from Popcorn or sealed candy as all the horror stories you hear about people mishandling your food are pretty much true. Employees are horribly underpaid, and treated like completely replaceable cogs on every level so most don't care about their job unless you really buy into it and want to get into corporate from the ground up. Working projection was fun until they got digital projectors then it all amounted to dragging and dropping video files on a timeline and hitting play on a touchscreen.

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stantongrouse

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At this point in my life, I just don't need most things that much that I'll pay that sort of premium - I'll just wait until it's on a platform I already pay for or I'll go without, life is full of so much that after any zeitgeist has burned out it's a challenge for me to even remember it being released. The system is in for a shock though, I think they pandemic has inflated the egos of some of these streaming and digital services and they might be in for a shock once the potential global recession kicks in, even more people find themselves out of work or people like my Mum (in their late 60s) finally figure out how to get those pirated versions.

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ThePanzini

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#21  Edited By ThePanzini

Similar price to a pay per view sporting event doesn't seem that bad for a new film, I very much dislike the cinema experience I would much rather pay $30 to watch at home for something I really wanted to see.

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tatsuyarr

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At that price, I'd rather wait for the Bluray. Where I live a movie at the theatre is around $10. For a movie I really, really want to watch maybe I'd go as far as $20 but Mulan isn't one of them. Dune on the other hand...

If we're asked to pay that much just for streaming a film (even a new one) piracy will skyrocket in no time.

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Shiftygism

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#23  Edited By Shiftygism

If it was for something I really cared about I probably would...but that list is down to only Star Wars and Alien and we all kow how the quality has been with those. I just don't see myself ever going back to theaters after this new normal given my household makeup, though for families that were paying an arm and a leg, $30 is a hell of a deal. I'd personally only be on board fully if it's guaranteed multiple viewings for 24hrs as I've developed an annoying sleep disorder in recent years that causes me to drift off rather easily.

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Bane

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Not at that price. No way.

I very rarely go to the theater, but when I do it's usually the earliest show possible so I can get cheap tickets and less people. I might end up paying half that much after concessions.

I think renting new release movies at home is a fantastic idea, one I've wished to see happen for a long time. But they have to come up with a fair pricing model so the one or two people watching in one home aren't subsidizing the eight person watch party in another.

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Panfoot

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I get the idea behind the price, but as someone that would be watching a new movie alone, not worth it. Though I didn't go to the theater that much before, the only stuff I really felt I need to see in theaters was the main Star Wars movies(Until The Last Jedi, after that I stopped caring) and occasionally a Marvel movie if a group of us got together. Heck even Blade Runner 2049, which I was excited for and has become one of my favorite movies of the last decade if not just overall, I couldn't muster enough enthusiasm to go to the theater for. Either way, as long as it counts as being "out" and thus closer to a blu ray/digital release, have at it.

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noobsauce

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The world is ready for day 1 release at home but Disney has the wrong idea about price. $10-15 is what it needs to be. But greed to make as much or more from digital release will be too great till someone finds what will be the acceptable model for this type of thing (if it catches on). Until then, don't support the $30 price or that will be the cheapest these type of rentals will ever be.

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liquiddragon

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#27  Edited By liquiddragon

Sounds like you do “own it” for the price but you need Disney+ to access it. The 2nd part is the deal breaker.

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bongchilla

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This is a movie that was initially planned to probably make a ton of money worldwide so Disney is is clearly trying to shore up those loses due to the pandemic. Will I pay $30 to see Mulan? No, but because it’s Mulan and not because it’s $30. Like most people mentioned in this thread I would be happy to pay this for Dune and Tenent.

This isn’t the first VOD released and they were at a lower price tag. Trolls 2 (shudder) was $20 I think? And that did pretty well because of families with kids.

That also brings me to my next point. This is intended as a family movie. If there was no Pandemic and my 5 year old wanted to see this than between my wife, myself and my kid we would be spending $30 where I live to see this before concessions and I don’t live in a big metropolitan area like NYC where the movie prices were even higher.

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doombot13

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I agree $30 is too high but the LOTR comparison doesn't really work, those movies are old and have been available in other ways, including broadcast. While Mulan is a brand new never-before-seen film (well, a remake, but you know what I mean).

Most of the VOD stuff I've seen has been $20, and that's a fair price to me. Bill & Ted 3 is that price and I plan on getting that day one. One bonus of Disney's plan is that you do get to keep Mulan, it's not a rental, but even then $30 is a bit steep. (Plus you still have to keep your D+ subscription to watch it, which is a little scummy.)

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frytup

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Fuck. No.

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TheRealTurk

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Ummmm . . . no?

I very rarely go to theater anymore (even before COVID), and cost is one of the major reasons why. Between the tickets and getting gouged on concessions, a movie for 2 could easily run $50+ dollars for an experience that is probably badly lit, in a disgustingly filthy theater, while surrounded by obnoxious people yakking on their cell phones.

And while a lot of those problems don't exist when watching a movie at home, I just don't see why I should spend that kind of money, particularly for a remake, and particularly when I'm already having to pay a monthly subscription fee, which is honestly kind of a major sticking point for me. Basically Disney is charging you $6.99 for the privilege of being able to spend $30 to watch a movie they've already made. Screw that noise.

There are plenty of better ways to spend your money. $36 bucks is the equivalent of a couple of good books or a decent meal out. It's also more than half way to a new video game, and you can probably find a really good older game for that price, too.

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BabyChooChoo

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#32  Edited By BabyChooChoo

Nah. $30 is too much for a movie rental at home regardless of almost any setup. If it was pay to own, then sure, whatever. Like, I would love to see TENET, for example. Easily my most anticipated movie off the top of my head. Friends wanna go have a night out and watch it in theaters when the T-virus outbreak subsides in 40 years? Sure, let's go. Pay $30 to see it on release at home and get to keep it forever (yeah yeah yeah, digital rights etc etc)? Sign me up.

$30...for a rental? Oh, fuck off movie industry. I'll fuckin wait.

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Tom_Scherschel

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I would be really interested to see a demographic breakdown of the Giant Bomb audience. Almost everyone commenting is coming at this offer from the perspective of watching it alone or with a roommate or date. Only one person here has mentioned the cost of taking a family to the movies (what up, @bongchilla). Mine is a family of five, so for any show I'm paying over $30 just in tickets, and then there's popcorn and soda. Generally, a night at the movies runs $75+. So $30 for new entertainment that can entertain the kids for 2 hours is a no-brainer. Plus, for that price, if the kids like it they can re-watch it as much as they want.

Totally agree that $30 is a lot to ask if you're just one person who will watch this one time, but there are millions of families out there that are starved for new things to do.

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Gundato

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#34  Edited By Gundato

30 is a bit high. But if it includes an actual digital copy of the film (and I think Mulan does?): not for Mulan but maybe for Bill and Ted

It is expensive and definitely more than going to a local theatre would be. But it isn't THAT much more expensive than a lot of digital copies tend to be (want to say 20-ish bucks for an HD license?)

So it is "reasonable" with the understanding that you should really wait for a discount and are basically paying the "I want it now" price.

That being said: Locking it behind a subscription on top is asinine.

---

Yeah, it is expensive and probably pushes things to the "why not just pirate it" category a bit. But also understand that decades of good digital distribution have kind of atrophied a lot of people's piracy muscle. And this still has the convenience factor AND is arguably even better because "now I don't have to go to a theatre if I want to be safe from spoilers"

I think there is going to be a lot of iteration over the next few years. But this also feels like late 90s/early 00s digital distribution where some games would be 15 bucks you mail to a dev and others would be an 80 dollar purchase because there was nothing else like Dominions. over time we evolved into the current form.

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jaycrockett

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#35  Edited By jaycrockett

People are having outdoor movie nights with their neighbors, with inflatable screens in their driveways and what not. For them this is a no brainer. For me, I have no one to watch it so no.

I would pay 30 bucks for Black Widow though, no problem.

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navster15

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$30 for a family of four to have a movie night at home with a new release seems pretty reasonable to me, and make no mistake that is the demographic for Mulan. It doesn’t even feel like a Disney money grab in this case, considering that the theatrical box office is the reason why studios can put $100+ million dollar movies on a streaming service at no additional cost. Don’t like it? Wait six months like we all do when we don’t want to pay movie theatre prices.

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AdamALC

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No, regardless of the movie. 30 dollars for a glorified rental is just a cash grab and I hope nobody goes in on it.

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TheFlamingo352

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My roommates were jaw-dropped when I told them the price. Given, we don't fuckin like Disney anyways, but when I asked them to guess the additional Mulan tax the highest one said "12$, 15$ if they're assholes."

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flatblack

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Would for Dune, would not for Mulan

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hermes

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#40  Edited By hermes

No way... I don't know the economics in North America, but 30 bucks is about 10 movie tickets in my country (or used to be). Even with popcorn and drinks, it is not a quarter of that amount...

So, Disney is seriously expecting people to pay enough money to see one day worth of movies, for a single one? On top of the Disney+ subscription? That sounds so out of touch it is almost painful. It is the kind of attitude that makes torrent a very valid proposition.

EDIT: From the perspective of a large family, I guess it makes more sense, but I would still think twice unless I have the hardware to pull of a similar experience. If it is several people watching it from a PC plugged into VGA, I would wait for a home release...

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RalphMoustaccio

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As a couple of other people mention, this makes perfect sense for the specific case of Mulan, since it is primarily a family movie. I have a seven year old daughter, and if she wants to see it, I wouldn't balk at 30 bucks to sit and watch it with her and my wife, even for time-limited usage.

Going to a theater at this point is at least $10 per person just to walk in the door (and I live in Kansas, not California, New York, etc.), but the real downside is you have to be at a theater with tons of inconsiderate people who talk throughout the movie, waiters walking through every 20 minutes delivering someone's overpriced gimmicky food (since every theater now insists on also being a restaurant), phones going off, etc. In contrast, at home, my couch is comfortable as hell, I get to hang out with my dogs in addition to my family, and my a/v setup is thunderous. I'd basically pay $30 just to avoid going to the theater to see a first-run movie.

I truly hope this continues. Sure, keep theaters around for those who like them, but snark aside I don't enjoy the experience of the theater enough to justify the hassle most of the time, so if I as a consumer had more ability to see movies when they came out in a way that I enjoy, that's more money those studios would get from me.

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Arcitee

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I have over a 100 things right now I could stream that I am vaguely interested in, it would have to be a movie I am anticipating more than anything. I also go to the theater for an experience I can't get in an apartment

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A_E_Martin

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I'd pay 10 smackers at most for a digital movie, and that's to own it. Though I would pay up to 20 if it were DRM-free and of Blu-ray quality.

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lobster_johnson

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I pay £5.99 to rent 2 Blu-rays a month. That's how I watch new films. Well, new to me.

But maybe 30 Disney Dollars is less than that, I'm unsure of the exchange rate.

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BladeOfCreation

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@nodima: There are few things in the world that I love more than privileged podcasters suggesting they'd pay ridiculous prices for things that most people couldn't afford. It's a movie ticket. What could it cost, $200?

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Onemanarmyy

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#46  Edited By Onemanarmyy

haha absolutely not. What the hell Disney, fuck you.

Like sure, if you equate it to 2 tickets it's not all that bad, but at the same time, i don't live in a cinema. I don't have the tech. I'm not supporting a local cinema. I don't get to treat it like a night out in town where you catch a movie and then go eat something and dance a bit and what not. You're at home sitting in front of your TV spending 30$ to watch a movie on Disney+.

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BaneFireLord

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I can't imagine shelling out $30 to rent any movie, especially not a live action Mulan remake. I betcha people are going to lap this up, though.

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RalphMoustaccio

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@zoofame: And I think it's fun seeing people rationalize that paying $30 to see a movie in a theater is any different from a rental fee.

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navster15

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@zoofame: I for one would pay more money to avoid the “theatre quality setup”. $30 to watch the next Avengers movie without sitting in a room with inconsiderate strangers? Sign me up!

Or, you know, wait six months for the “home movie” release and just move on with my life. Outrage over this, for a movie I’m willing to bet very few people on this thread were actually interested in watching, seems a smidge too intense.