I couldn't resist watching 'The Interview' after all the hype that's been in the news lately. I even considered driving an hour away to see it on the Christmas Day opening.
BUT, what Google and Sony did this Christmas Eve may have changed the way I want to see movies forever.
Earlier in the day, someone in the newsroom asked, "Hey, did you see that 'The Interview' is going to be streamed on Google Play?" (Editor's note: also YouTube and Xbox)
Since my brother-in-law and sister gave me a Google Play gift card for my birthday a couple of months ago, I kind of geeked out. I called my husband and suggested we make Christmas Eve dinner and watch the movie.
If you're unfamiliar with Google Play rentals, you pay for the rental fee and can watch it for the next 48 hours. The cool thing is that you can even download it to your device and watch it later without a wifi connection. I usually grab a movie before I have to travel. Also, if you have a Chromecast, you can fling the movie from your device to your big screen TV. And we love to do that because we also have a decent soundbar and subwoofer.
So, as I was cracking my lobster claws on the couch and hanging with my hubby and two dogs, it dawned on me. This is how people are going to start watching new releases.
And here's why: People are tired of spending $100 to go see a new movie that ends up falling flat. If you are in a relationship, you pay for dinner, drinks and a movie. You get concessions like popcorn, a soda and maybe something sweet. If you're parents, you're likely paying for a babysitter for at least five hours. That means you're out at least $100--more like $200 if you have a great dinner.
That's why I'm thankful for North Korea this Christmas Eve. Without their antics, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of seeing a new movie...in my jammies... with my whole family...in my living room. No sticky chairs, no annoying teenagers, no one on their cell phone (but me). I spent $5.99 on the flick and $17 on the lobster claws. At that rate, I could do it four more times this week and still pay less than I would for one trip out of the house. Think of the possibilities -- you could invite all your friends over for a fancy dinner and a watch party!
Don't get me wrong, theaters are great, but they've now priced themselves out of the category of "regular things to do" for my family. I want to support our local theaters, but it's becoming clear to me that the big picture is with streaming.