Oh, theater owners are going to love this.
Universal will release Tower Heist on video-on-demand some three weeks after it hits theaters, the studio announced on Wednesday.
The first of its kind, this experiment will allow the two companies to sample consumer appetite for this film in this window at this price while allowing the film to achieve its full potential at the box office, Universal said in a statement.
Universal said it was contemplating further VOD experiments.
Renting the action-comedy at home will reportedly set viewers back a wallet-busting $60. That price-tag is especially ironic since Tower Heist centers on a group of Ponzi-scheme victims who team up to get back at their Madoff-like investor.
A spokeswoman for Universal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Though the early home entertainment roll-out represents a bold risk for Universal and should provoke outrage among exhibitors, the studio is limiting the offering to two markets, Atlanta and Portland, Oregon.
Universal's parent company, the cable giant Comcast, will offer the film to subscribers. The studio will also allow other cable and internet companies to offer Tower Heist for similar terms, the Times reports.
Directed by Brett Ratner, the film stars Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller and is set to debut on Nov. 4.
The Los Angeles Times first reported the Universal experiment.