I don't see how it is a money sucking dud. They are offering it through the standard method in On Demand, so there is no real cost there. They are probably only paying the studio based upon actual purchase, so no additional cost there (unless they pay more than what they get for the first few purchases, which I doubt). There is some advertising money involved but the side benefit of advertising On Demand and DirecTV having something new and shiny probably pays for that and I doubt they added commercial time, just focus some ads towards this rather than the standard PPV release of another recent movie. Little to no cost there. All they have to do is reset the expired time on the movie from the standard film (which is probably just meta data as they have this mechanism on every On Demand feature, even "free" ones) and change the price (which is always adjustable anyway). This is a no risk venture for everyone. If it doesn't sell, it doesn't sell. No lost costs, really. So, relax. Try to stop worrying about everything causing you pain in the end. Not everything does.