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April 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Until now, theater owners have balked at any attempt by studios to make their movies available online at a premium price while they are still in theaters. In fact, some exhibitors have threatened to boycott any movies that the studios offered via “premium video on demand.” But on Wednesday, Adam Fogelson, chairman of Universal Pictures, released a trial balloon during the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, announcing that the studios might consider partnering with theater owners to test premium VOD. Such a test is necessary, Fogelson said, if the studios are to find a way to gain back the profits they have lost in recent years from falling DVD sales. “When people talk about the love of movies they talk about the experience of going to the theaters,” Fogelson said during a panel discussion at the CinemaCon meeting. “I think if exhibitors believe that as strongly as I do then there will be room…at least for experimentation.” Asked by the Wall Street Journal whether he is open to such an experiment, David Passman, head of Carmike Cinemas, the fourth-largest theater chain, indicated that he is, although, he added, “I would hope the answer isn’t a sharing revenues while we have empty theaters.”