Jeffrey Katzenberg is a very, very good film executive, but he’s not very good at predicting the future of movies. That doesn’t stop him from trying, though, and the most amusing claim he’s made lately is that you’ll pay for movies by the inch in a magical, Netflix-free world.
Essentially, Katzenberg’s vision of the future is that movies will be priced based on the screen you watch them on. After being in theaters for three weeks, you can pay by the inch, essentially, according to Variety.
“I think the model will change and you won’t pay for the window of availability. A movie will come out and you will have 17 days, that’s exactly three weekends, which is 95% of the revenue for 98% of movies. On the 18th day, these movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously and you will pay for the size. A movie screen will be $15. A 75” TV will be $4.00. A smartphone will be $1.99. That enterprise that will exist throughout the world, when that happens, and it will happen, it will reinvent the enterprise of movies,” [Katzenberg] told the crowd.
Keep in mind, Katzenberg was one of the key people behind forcing movie theaters across the country to install expensive 3D systems, and continues to insist they’re a good idea despite the fact that 3D has become a painful albatross around the neck of movie theaters across the country.
Also unsaid in all this is why anybody would pay $4 for a movie rental when eventually the studios will give up and just put it on Netflix, which is rapidly becoming the basic cable of the Internet. Also, we can’t imagine Amazon will willingly surrender a massive source of revenue without a fight.
So, yeah, we’re a little skeptical that this idea will ever come into existence. But, hey, it’s his job to dream. And it’s our job to just keep waiting for movies to hit Netflix.