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Quick release Lions Gate launches on-demand service with Lautner film

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. will offer the Taylor Lautner film "Abduction" on pay TV three months after its theatrical release for as little as $6.99, according to people familiar with the plan, undercutting rivals' prices.

The film, scheduled for release in theaters on Sept. 23, will be offered through video-on-demand for about 10 days beginning Dec. 23, said the people, who spoke anonymously because the plan hasn't been made public. The DVD release is set for January, one of the people said.

"Abduction," with the "Twilight" actor in the lead, will be Vancouver-based Lions Gate's first test of premium VOD. Studios are experimenting with the earlier release of movies in an attempt to make up for declining DVD sales and rentals. The 91-day window is seen as a compromise from the 60-day plan, announced by four studios in the first quarter, that sparked protests from theater operators and filmmakers, including "Avatar" director James Cameron.

Lions Gate will offer "Abduction" for $6.99 in standard definition and $7.99 in high-definition formats. The studio plans to make the movie available to all VOD providers as well as the Web-based operations of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co.

Lautner plays werewolf Jacob Black, one of three principal characters in Summit Entertainment Corp.'s "Twilight" films, a franchise that according to Boxofficemojo.com has generated $1.8 billion in worldwide ticket sales. The films are based on the young-adult novels of Stephenie Meyer.

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