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Big Time Directors Hating on New Early Release Offer from DirecTV

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Starting tomorrow, DirecTV subscribers will be able to rent select titles at home just two months after the films make their theatrical debut. Not everyone is pleased with this new viewing option, including some big-name directors like James Cameron and Michael Bay, who say the offer will hurt ticket sales at a time when movie theatres are paying big bucks to upgrade to digital and 3D equipment, according to the AP.

Cameron and Bay are joined by several of their contemporaries who signed on to an open letter on the subject issued yesterday by National Association of Theatre Owners. The letter, which also includes high-profile directors like Kathryn Bigelow and Robert Zemeckis, the 23 directors "raised a variety of concerns about the plans, saying they would negatively affect consumer buying habits, exacerbate film piracy and severely limit the ability of specialty films to remain in theaters long enough to build audience awareness," explains the LA Times.

The first early-release Video on Demand (VOD) title to be made available tomorrow is Sony Pictures' "Just Go With It," starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, which can be seen on the home screens of DirecTV subscribers willing to shell out $30 to "rent" the flick for 48 hours, just 69 days after it debuted at theatres. "Currently, movies are available on VOD about the same time they become available on DVD, about 130 days after they debut in theaters," notes the Times.

As payback for the potential loss of revenue, three major movie theatre chains, Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Holdings, "have all said they won't play trailers for movies that are offered on premium VOD and may take other retaliatory economic measures."

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Will you be among the DirecTV subscribers checking out newer releases via VOD for $30?