Written by: FFT Webmaster | June 8th, 2011
The National Assoctoin of Theater Owners (NATO) is going global with its campaign to combat premium Video on Demand. Speaking at industry convention ShowCanada in Ottawa last week, NATO president John Fithian said the new VOD service could damage the film business by significantly reducing movie ticket sales and helping pirates in their efforts to offer early digital versions. NATO is responding to last month’s launch by satellite television provider DirecTV’s premium VOD service in partnership with major studios Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Sony. Select movies are being offered two months after their theatrical release for $29.99. The traditional theatrical window is three to four months. A number of leading directors have added their signatures to a letter that protests this change in the traditional release pattern that has been in place for decades. Such respected helmers as James Cameron, Jon Favreau, Christopher Nolan, M. Night Shyamalan and Quentin Tarantino have expressed their dismay with the new venture. NATO’s aggressive speech at ShowCanada marks an expanded, global phase in the organization’s efforts to preserve the theatrical window, with trips being planned with international exhibitors in Europe, Australia and Asia in the coming weeks.