Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Ben Stiller
FILE: Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller attend the HELP HAITI benefiting The Ben Stiller Foundation and The J/P Haitian Relief Organization at the Urban Zen Center At Stephan Weiss Studio on February 11, 2011 in New York City.
Universal Pictures dropped plans Wednesday to offer the new Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller movie "Tower Heist" for home viewing just three weeks after opening in theaters on Nov. 4. Several theater chains had threatened to not carry the film if Universal went ahead with their plans, expressing concern about the early release leading viewers to decide they should just wait and not go see the film in theaters.
Universal was looking to try out the idea of charging more ($60 in this case) for a chance to view a movie at home far earlier than normal. Get a few friends together and it could start looking like an attractive possibility, much like pay-per-view fight nights. The plan had only called for the film to get an early home release in two cities, but apparently even that was too much for theater owners. There have already been some similar experiments to this with smaller films, but "Tower Heist" would have been the biggest example to date.