Serena, a Susanne Bier movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, is now available for rent on the iTunes Store and Google Play — three weeks before the film is due to arrive in US theaters
All three pricetags are unusually high for a rental, but it’s rare for a movie to show simultaneously in theaters and on streaming services, much less stream weeks in advance. Most major film studios are worried about hampering box office numbers and upsetting relationships with theater owners.
Serena may be an exception because of its poor reviews so far. The film has an average rating of just 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and major publications such as Entertainment Weekly and the Hollywood Reporter have panned it. People may be more willing to see the film if it’s at a cheaper price and in their own home.
A more typical iTunes rental price is $6 for a recent, high-profile title such as Big Hero 6. At Google Play, that same movie is $6 in HD or $5 in SD.
By Roger Fingas