As many of you already know, Napster co-founder Sean Parker is attempting to launch a new service called Screening Room that would allow movie fans to see hit movies in the comfort of their own home the same day the films release to theaters. The at-home viewings would come with a hefty $50 price tag, but would allow for watch parties with assumed fee-splitting amongst the guests. (Just like we all used to do for those wonderful Tyson fights).
Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Peter Jackson support the suggested technology and have become stakeholders in the company. The group hopes that Screening Room would grow overall revenues for the movie business by targeting well-healed movie watchers who do not regularly go to the theatre to catch new releases.
A rift though is forming, as Christopher Nolan (Pictured: Above Right; The Dark Night, Momento) is joining James Cameron and Jon Landau in their slamming of the proposed new-release platform. Opposition has also come from the National Association of Theater Owners and the Art House Convergence, both stating that Screening Room would encourage piracy, hurt box office numbers and damage the sanctity of the theatre experience.
It will be interesting to see how the numbers crunch if Screening Room gets off the ground. Lets hope it doesn’t hurt theatre chains, for once the Screening Room is opened, it will assumedly be difficult to shutter-up.