Now Rent First-run Movies: Just $500

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A Carlsbad, CA company is making it possible for the wealthy to enjoy movies in their home theaters on the same day they open in the multiplex. For $500 a pop. ($600 if they're in 3D.) Today's (Tuesday) Los Angeles Times reported that a $35,000 device produced by Prima Cinema Inc. and added to a $100,000 digital projector has begun to deliver first-run movies to affluent Americans. And Jason Pang, the company's CEO, is voicing confidence that there are enough of them to support his business model. There are thousands of people out there, if not tens of thousands of people, that could buy this product, Pang told the Times. Patrick Calderone, whose AVX Design & Integration firm designs and installs home theaters costing as much as $2 million, observed that his customers rarely balk at the cost of the installations, but telling someone the movie is $500 to watch is the only time you see them wince, even though they probably spend that when they go to dinner with their wife. The company maintains that it is unlikely that studios will object to the service as they did when Universal announced that it would offer Tower Heist via video-on-demand in 2011 for $60. (Theater owners threatened to boycott the movie if the studio carried out its plan. Adam Fogelson, chairman of Universal Pictures, which has invested in Prima, told the Times: Nobody I've talked to thinks Prima will be cannibalistic, because the clientele is too exclusive -- their customers aren't likely to go to theaters often, if ever.



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