Good heavens, a company called Prima Cinema Inc. has created a first-run rental service available only to the super-super-well-resourced (THE RICH): the basic device (akin to maybe a Roku in a normal person's world) is $35,000 and 24-hour rentals cost $500 for a standard in-the-theaters-now film and $600 for 3D. This means that normal average incredibly wealthy people can enjoy the same privileges as the industry insiders on the Bel Air Circuit, to whom studios just lend first-run films (not that that's cheap either--there's still a courier and sometimes projectionist fees). Predictably, everyone involved has douchey things to say about it in the LA Times. Enjoy and viva la revolucion!: -- The article focuses on Ken and Carol Schultz, who "spared no expense" on their "Art Deco home theater" in Rancho Santa Fe. It has "custom-built armchairs with heat and massage functions," a 3D projector that cost about $100k, an eight by 18 foot screen, and walnut-paneled walls.
-- Here's Ken Schultz: "When the projector costs three times that, you don't pay attention to the Prima cost ... We have boxes at the Hollywood Bowl, and we go to Disney Concert Hall to see Dudamel. Even if we watch 10 to 12 movies a year on Prima, it is still a fraction of our overall entertainment budget."
-- Prima's CEO Jason Pang: "We found the secret sauce to make billionaires act like little giddy schoolchildren."
-- One theater design and installation firm head says that "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."
-- Prima doesn't even have deals with every studio--just Universal, and indies Magnolia and Cinedigm.
-- Former Sony head Peter Guber, who is on the Circuit, is skeptical: "The speed of technological change ... and the reality of spending $35,000 for, say, that 40 times you watch it in your screening salon, and $500 a pop for the privilege, is a poor investment that will get little traction."
· Now showing in rich people's homes: first-run movies [LAT]