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“Tower Heist” VOD experiment put on hold

“Tower Heist” VOD experiment put on hold (photo)

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Remember all that talk last week about the new Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy comedy “Tower Heist” coming to video-on-demand just three weeks after it opened in theaters? Well you can pretty much forget about it at this point. It never happened. Everyone got that? Never happened.

That’s because after all that talk, there were threats. They came from movie theaters, who weren’t too pleased with what they saw as a studio muscling in on their turf. First Cinemark, the third largest exhibitor chain in the US threatened to boycott the film if Universal went ahead with its unprecedented experiment. Then National Amusements followed suit this morning. Faced with the mounting tide of negative feedback, Universal scuttled the whole thing and released this statement (which also details what the plan would have entailed, if you missed last week’s news):

“Universal Pictures today announced that in response to a request from theater owners, it has decided to delay its planned premium home video on demand (PVOD) experiment in which Comcast digital subscribers in Portland and Atlanta would have had the opportunity to rent ‘Tower Heist’ on demand just three weeks after its theatrical release on November 4, 2011. Universal continues to believe that the theater experience and a PVOD window are business models that can coincide and thrive and we look forward to working with our partners in exhibition to find a way to experiment in this area in the future.”

If you’d planned to check out “Tower Heist” at home, I guess you will need to make alternate arrangements (I’m sure Cinemark and National Amusements would be happy to accomodate you). Even if this particular experiment is going away, though, don’t expect it to stay dead for long. Universal is owned by Comcast and Comcast is a cable company, so it makes smart financial sense for them to try to sell their product directly to consumers rather than splitting the revenue with an exhibitor. If they can figure out a way to pull that off without enraging movie theaters, they’re going to. In the meantime, PVOD will remain what it has always been: the name of the alien in the “Star Trek” fan fiction I wrote in 7th grade. It was called “Pray for the Predators.” It was really good.

Are you disappointed that you won’t get to see “Tower Heist” on PVOD? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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