Jack Uldrich
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A Futurist Goes to the Movies

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Yesterday, it was reported that Prima Cinema is planning to deliver new movies directly into the homes of viewers the same day they are released at the movie theater. The catch is that if you wish to partake in Hollywood or Bollywood’s latest blockbuster, it’ll set you back a cool $20,000 upfront, plus an additional $500 per movie. From this perspective, it appears as though the average person must remain content to watch new releases with the “great unwashed” in a normal theater.

It is a mistake, however, to assume it will always be thus. For a reminder of what is possible consider the 1990 Hollywood blockbuster “Pretty Woman.” You may recall that at the beginning of the movie Richard Gere’s character is shown using a massive cellphone. Of course, in 1990, such a phone cost $5,000 and belonged only to the “elite.” (It was the director’s way of showing Gere’s character was super wealthy.) Today, even low-income farmers in India and Africa can afford a cellphone. Technology has a curious way of getting better, faster and cheaper and as it does it proliferates outward—away from the elite and toward the masses. The same will happen with the distribution of new movie releases.

Many people, for a variety of reasons, will still prefer to go to the movie theater to watch releases. So I’m not predicting the imminent demise of movie theaters only that, in the future, people will have the option of watching the latest release of Harry Potter XIV at home or the theater—and it won’t cost them a fortune.

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