So what was that big kerfuffle at Cinemacon all about again?
The data could not be more preliminary and informal, but if the first film released under the new premium VOD plan is any indicator, the new home-viewing window will have little, if any, impact on theatrical exhibition.
Sony Adam Sandler comedy "Just Go With It" — which was made available to DirecTV subscribers Thursday for the viewing price of $29.99 — grossed an estimated $200,000 this weekend playing at 265 locations.
The film dropped 26 percent from its week nine performance, but it also lost 19 percent of its engagements, dropping from 326 locations last weekend to 265.
So how relevant is this data? Probably not very, given that the so-called Home Premiere program has only rolled out on one pay television service, and its overall public awareness is still pretty low.
Still, a real-world model is a real-world model, and if the studios can continue to show that premium VOD availability has minimal impact on the minimal dollars films like "Just Go With It" bring in theatically after their eighth week in theaters, they might be able to convince wary exhibitors that this is a plan worth living with.
"There's been a lot of Chicken Little stuff about this," noted one studio distribution executive. "(Exhibitors) should wait to see how this stuff plays out before they get worried about it."
DirecTV has yet to release figures as to how the preliminary days of Home Premiere viewing are going.