Brett Ratner's Tower Heist will, alas, not change the future of movies

Brett Ratner's Tower Heist will, alas, not change the future of movies

Last week, Universal announced plans to upend the traditional model of movie distribution by both offering the forthcoming Brett Ratner comedy Tower Heist through video-on-demand only three weeks after its theatrical release, and also asking people to accept the idea that watching a Brett Ratner comedy is worth $59.99. The studio crowed, a hundred “this will change the future of movies” think-pieces bloomed—and, of course, theater owners lost their shit, with Cinemark leading a boycott of the film that eventually snared other chains like Regency, Galaxy, and National Amusements.

And today, Universal blinked: In response to the outcry, the studio has decided to “delay” its experiment with early VOD release—something it was only going to try in Portland and Atlanta anyway—and revisit it at a later date. Promisingly, the National Association Of Theater Owners issued a complementary statement saying it recognized that studios needed to explore new models of distribution, leaving the door open for cooperation on a plan like this down the road. So, it’s quite possible that the studio will find a way to shrink the theatrical window, and that a single film will end up “changing the future of movies.” It just won’t be Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist. Obviously.