Movies on Demand at the Movies
A Brazilian company wants to bring movies on demand to a theater near you.
On the MovieMobz website, people can ask other filmgoers if they want to see a certain picture at a certain theater. If enough people sign up, the theater is booked.
The number of people needed varies depending on the theater. For example, if a 120-seat cinema typically sells 30 tickets on a Monday night, it will only take 40 “MovieMobzters” to schedule the screening.
According to the company, an average of two people show up for every Mobzter who signs up.
In eight weeks, 5,600 people have signed up for the service and 50 screenings have been arranged. The company wants to move into the US as quickly as possible.
MovieMobz works in conjunction with another Brazilian company called the Rain Network. Rain theaters are connected to a central server that stores movies digitally and distributes them using a BitTorrent system on a virtual private network. In Brazil, there are currently 62 theaters with 160 screens in the network.
Amazon currently is developing a similar system called Withoutabox. However, the site is only listing already scheduled films.
You can read more inBusiness Week.
Hmmm…that reminds me of that old joke I think I heard on the Jack Benny radio show way back in the early 1950’s when television was having such a dramatic impact on the movie theater business. A man calls a movie theater to see what time the show starts and the response is “What time can you get here?”