Cathay Cineplexes has launched a pay-per view streaming service called Cathay CineHome.
Conceived as a “digital extension” of Cathay Cineplexes, Cathay CineHome will stream movies that just ended their theatrical runs, as well as direct-to-streaming titles.
For its launch, Cathay CineHome is releasing 20 local, Asian and international movies, with new ones to be added to the library each week. It’s also offering six titles — 4 Love, Midsommar, How to Train Our Dragon, Unstoppable, Little Q, and Love Again — for free from Sept 11 to Sept 24.
Upcoming titles include the road-rage thriller Unhinged, the Indonesian horror Impetigore, and the superhero romance A Choo. The titles currently available are either distributed or produced by MM2, the media company which also owns Cathay Cineplexes.
Cathay CineHome can be accessed via its website and free app (IOS and Android). There are no membership fees or monthly subscriptions. The movies can be rented for unlimited viewings for two weeks for $7.98 for new titles and $5.98 library titles. (In comparison, iTunes charges a title like Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen $4.98 for a two day-rental.)
According to a spokesperson, a "new movie" is one that has been out for less than a year. After that, it’ll be considered a library title. The service also plans to screen R21 movies; right now, only titles rated up to M18 are available. (Note: The Midsommar available here is the edited M18 version, not the original R21 cut shown in cinemas last year.)
Cathay Cineplexes isn’t the only cinema chain venturing into the pay-per-view business. In April, indie exhibitor The Projector started a streaming sideline (now called The Projector Plus), following the shut-down of cinemas during the Circuit Breaker. In July, Shaw Theatres introduced KinoLounge, an art-house movie-focused VOD service.