Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?

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Offline Peter CINERAMAX

Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
« on: Tue May 17, 2016, 07:56:45 AM »
Napster. It’s a word that strikes fear in many people. When you apply the term Napster to almost any business, it can spell disaster, because everyone immediately thinks of the world suddenly stealing your product. Napster of course played a big hand in destroying the music business, and Hollywood’s greatest fear is there could one day be an equivalent to Napster that could wipe movies off the face of the earth.

So this March, when Napster co-founder Sean Parker announced his new innovation, a VOD service called Screening Room, one can only imagine the levels of fear and paranoia it raised in a town where everything is treated like the end of the world.

For those unfamiliar with Parker’s latest plans, Screening Room, unlike Napster, would not be a free-for-all. Screening Room would be a service where you could watch a first-run movie in your home on opening day. It would cost $150 to set up the Screening Room service in your home, and it would cost you a $50 rental fee to watch whatever big blockbuster is coming out on Friday. (You would have to watch the movie within 48 hours of purchase.)

According to The Wrap, theater exhibitors would get $20 of the $50 fee, and $10 of that would kick back to Parker and company.  Variety reported that Screening Room customers who pay $50 to see a movie at home could also get two free tickets to see a movie at their favorite theater.

Once Parker’s plans were announced, Hollywood was immediately polarized. According to a report on Deadline, the directors who are for Screening Room include such Hollywood heavyweights as Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Martin Scorsese, Frank Marshall (producer of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Force Awakens), J.J. Abrams, and Ron Howard. (Howard and his producing partner Brian Grazer are advisors to Screening Room.)

Directors who are opposed to Screening Room include James Cameron, who has been publicly vehement on the subject, Christopher Nolan, and Brett Ratner, among others. (Ratner told Variety he’s not thrilled about the prospect of a movie being available in your home on opening day, but he did say he was impressed with the technology of Screening Room.)

James Cameron especially went on a tear against Screening Room at Cinema Con. “It’s essential for movies to be offered exclusively in theaters on their initial release,” Cameron said. He saw Screening Room as a threat, but the business “always answered that threat in the same way … by creating something in a movie theater that you can’t get anywhere else.”

And indeed, one of the biggest threats of Screening Room is how it could upset the Hollywood ecosystem, especially the release windows that give the theater owners and the studios several months before a movie is available for home viewing.

Cameron’s longtime producing partner Jon Landau told Deadline, “We don’t understand why the industry would want to provide audiences an incentive to skip the best form to experience the art that we work so hard to create. To us, the in-theater experience is the wellspring that drives our entire business … No one is against playing in the home, but there is a sequencing of events that leads to it. The in-theater communal experience is very special … As an industry, we have a responsibility to support all the theaters, not only the big chains in big cities, but all theaters – in small towns and small chains, too.”

hqdefault Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
On the other hand, J.J. Abrams told the Hollywood Reporter, “We are in a moment of disruption. I love nothing more than going to the movies. That’s the way it has to be. I also know I’m the father of three kids, and I haven’t been at a theater on opening night [with them] in probably 12 years.”

Both Abrams and Frank Marshall urged Hollywood to have an open mind, with Marshall telling Variety, “I think Sean Parker is a very smart guy, and I am open to see what he is thinking.”

Yet when trying to go deeper than what’s already been reported in the press, the silence is deafening. A number of directors and producers approached for this article declined or ignored interview requests, some politely, some not. In several instances, publicists made potential interview subjects conveniently unavailable, and several sources approached by Consequence of Sound for interviews that are normally very press friendly surprisingly turned down the opportunity to speak their minds on the subject.

One A-List director politely declined my request for an interview in an e-mail, stating, “I don’t have an opinion on the issue. I haven’t done my research or thought it through, and I generally TRY to keep my mouth shut when I don’t know what I’m talking about. Except when I’m directing of course … then it can’t be avoided.” An A-list screenwriter also declined to speak on the subject, except to say he felt the service was “a non-starter.”

One voice who wasn’t afraid to speak out is veteran film executive Bill Mechanic, the former chairman and CEO of Fox. (Mechanic oversaw the making of Independence Day, Titanic, and Fight Club, among other major films, during his reign.)

Previously, Mechanic told the L.A. Times, “I think it’s an anathema and extremely destructive to the business. Creatively, movies are meant to be shared with an audience in a darkened environment on giant screens.”

We asked Mechanic if there was a danger of Screening Room single-handedly hurting the business, like Napster decimated the music biz, and he told us, “I don’t think by itself it would, but I think it’s a slippery slope. Any idea that deconstructs the current movie business and makes it into an in-home system is long-term destructive to the overall industry … You start going on a slippery slope, by the time you wake up, which is what happened to the music business, you’re sliding and you can’t stop.”

Whatever side of the Screening Room debate you’re on, what many in the business agree with is they don’t want any outsiders coming in and rearranging how the business operates. When ideas like Screening Room come about, “a lot of the people that are doing them don’t have any interest in the industry that they’re interfering with, or that they’re participating in,” Mechanic says. “It’s all from a singular point of view. I’ve spent a lot of time in the studios, and if I were on the studio side (right now), I would not be looking for anyone to be a gatekeeper for a movie. If I were a studio, the last thing I’d want is another middle man.” (And indeed, the head of Warner Brothers, Kevin Tsujihara, also said at Cinema Con, “We are not going to let a third party or middleman come between us.”)

One of the biggest concerns with Screening Room is how it will affect theatrical windows. For those who remember the early days of home video and cable, the windows for when a movie was out of theaters were much longer. It could take years for a movie to finally play on regular television (Jaws, which was released in 1975, didn’t make its TV debut until 1979), same with home video and cable.

screening room 50 dollar vod home movies Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
Now the windows are about 90 days, and the theater owners don’t want them to go shorter, which is one of the biggest issues with Screening Room, that it can disrupt the natural order of a movie’s life and afterlife. As Mechanic says, when home video and cable came along, “You weren’t trying to kill the guy in front of you. As long as it was positioned properly, the window behind you didn’t destroy the window in front of you. All the new windows learned to co-exist for the betterment of the economic structure of the movies.”

There were several previous attempts in the past to let people view first-run movies at home, and in both instances, the theater owners revolted. The first time was with the big-screen adaptation of The Pirates of Penzance in 1983. On the film’s opening night, you could order the film and watch it at home through two early cable networks, ONTV and SelecTV. According to the film’s Wikipedia page, the theater owners went crazy, then punished Universal by giving it only 91 play dates in theaters. The movie subsequently tanked, making less than a million dollars in its theatrical run.

Then in 2011, Universal tried to offer the Brett Ratner comedy Tower Heist for home viewing three weeks after its release date for $59.99. Again, the theater owners revolted, and the president of Galaxy Theaters told the L.A. Times, “We just feel it’s time to draw a line in the sand. We’re standing on principal that it’s best to preserve the theatrical window.”

At the time, Universal president and COO Ron Meyer told Movieline, “If someone’s going to get our movies two weeks after they’re released, then they have to pay a premium for that. We still think that’s a valid model. Obviously, the theater owners didn’t want us to do it … I think eventually we will get it to work in conjunction with theater owners. I think there are people that would be willing to pay that price to not have to leave their house and be able to watch that first-run movie while it’s still in theaters.”

Then we saw history repeat itself yet again earlier this year when many theater chains refused to play the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon because you could download it from Netflix on opening day.

While Mechanic can’t see where Screening Room could be helpful to the business, Peter Jackson certainly disagrees. Jackson recently told Deadline at first he thought it was “a really dumb idea,” but he eventually came around. “Of all the cinema seats available on any day in the year in America, from the first to last screenings, 82% of those seats go unsold and are empty,” Jackson said. “So the question becomes, how do we sell more cinema seats…”

For a lot of people raising families, “Most of them were frequent moviegoers when they were younger, but not now, because they cannot get out,” he added.

Then when polling the target audience that Screening Room is going for, 25-39-year-olds, 70% of them would spend the $50 to have the service in their homes. Jackson speculates that the target audience would use it 12 times a year. “If we can get Screening Room into 20 million households, and they rent 12 movies a year, then the exhibitors and the studios will get over $8.5 billion dollars a year.”

Even with so many unwilling to talk about Screening Room, there was a wild card that actually volunteered to speak out about it, and not in a completely negative way. And it makes sense, especially considering this comes from someone outside of Hollywood who doesn’t have to worry about reprisals.

On April 25, The Wrap published an editorial from Fredric Rosen, the former CEO of Ticketmaster, where he weighed in on the Screening Room controversy. In the article, Rosen’s point of view was that the approach of Screening Room is wrong, but a service like this could be beneficial if Hollywood develops it in-house and controls it.

why-sean-parkers-plan-to-stream-movies-still-in-theaters-for-50-could-work (2)
Rosen’s editorial was titled, “Sean’s Parker’s Screening Room Plan to Home-Stream New Movies for $50 is Absurd.” (He originally thought of calling it “From the People Who Helped Ruin the Music Business.”)

“The plan is controversial for all the obvious reasons,” Rosen wrote. “It would upset the balance of exhibitors, distributors and filmmakers. That’s a perfect trifecta whereby each constituency loses.”

At the same time, Rosen continued, “Home viewing of first-run movies is an idea whose time has come … It’s the approach that’s the problem. The movie business is ripe for this type of change, just not the one proposed by the partners at Screening Room.”

Rosen feels that used the right way, a service like this could bring in more money for movies, but it should be a “Tiffany” product that’s in millions of homes, not tens of millions. He also feels that bigger blockbuster movies should be priced higher than an independent film. As he told us, “When you can show a first-run movie in your house on the day it opens, there’s value in that. This is not a Macy’s product, it’s a Tiffany product, and the marketplace will determine what it is. The point of day and date is to increase the marketplace, not lessen it. The point of day and date is to find people who don’t want to deal with crowds and deal with the onrush of the first day of the show. And the price of $50 shows me that they have zero respect for the content that’s been created.”

Rosen feels the major studios should do their own version of Screening Room and keep it out of the hands of outsiders. “The person leading that company has to be somebody that the community trusts and respects, not somebody who damaged another industry. Hollywood’s gotta own the distribution system. It’s gotta own the company. You can’t put this in the hands of a third party. The major studios should own the company. I wouldn’t work with Screening Room at all. Why would you trust somebody who’s already shown his disdain for content?” (Jackson told Deadline that Screening Room has to be done by a third party, not the studios and theaters, because of the anti-trust laws.)

It’s still too early to tell whether Screening Room could be a true threat to the business or a short-lived trend that comes and goes. In a story I wrote earlier this year about the demise of the rock movie, a lot of people would rather see a concert film at home these days, especially with today’s advances in sound technology. But when it comes to a big movie everyone wants to see on opening weekend, very few people have the kind of state-of-the-art home screening room that could rival your local theater, and even then, there’s still great fun to be had in enjoying a movie together with an audience, just like people still want to see live bands or make the trek to the Superbowl when they could easily watch it on television.

“Essentially movies are created for audiences,” Mechanic says. “Even in wealthy homes with screening rooms, the sound may be great, the screen might be bigger, but it’s in a living room of some sort, where there’s telephones and constant interruptions. It’s not an ideal facility, and you’ll never get as good of a reaction of watching a movie as you would get with an audience.”

Linkback: http://dci-forum.com/d-cinema-hi-end-cinema-home/11/would-screening-room-hurt-help-movie-business/757/

Offline Peter CINERAMAX

Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
Re: Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
« Reply #1 on: Thu June 09, 2016, 08:43:00 AM »
Hollywood: Who is For and Against Same-Day Home Movie Service?
Directors Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, and J.J. Abrams -- and probably Francis Ford Coppola -- embrace same-day-and-date movie services like Screening Room.

Lisa Montgomery • May 12, 2016


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By Jordan O’Brien
Francis Ford Coppola appears to be the next Hollywood heavyweight to embrace services like Screening Room that allow consumers to skip the cinema and enjoy first-run movies at home, the same day they’re released in theaters.

Coppola tells Flavorwire, “The truth is that you’re going to be able to see it [new release] in the theater or at home or wherever you want to because you are the boss of that; you are the patron.”
The director also notes that movie theaters cannot “make those kinds of stipulations” about where a customer consumes new movies. Understandably, commercial theater owners are not too happy about prospects for same-day-and-date movie screenings in the home.
In his seeming embrace of such services as Screening Room, Coppola joins other Hollywood greats who endorse the new movie-viewing paradigm.

During the recent CinemaCon, director J.J. Abrams gave a speech claiming that cinemas need to adapt to stay alive or risk dying out. He also justified day-and-date movie streaming services as a way to combat piracy and give people easier access to the films created in Hollywood.

“We need to do everything we can in this age of piracy, digital technology, and disruption to be thoughtful partners in the evolution of this medium… We have to adapt. It’s going to be required of all of us. We need to meet that challenge with excitement, and create solutions – not fear,” Abrams says. “As the world evolves, all of us are evolving with it. We have to adapt.”

J.J Abrams isn’t the only director backing the Screening Room, with Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, and Peter Jackson also backing the service. James Cameron and Christopher Nolan are firmly against the plans however, with both directors believing it would cheapen the movie-going experience.

The Screening Room Story
Several times over the past decade pundits have declared the ‘death’ of cinemas. Despite the constant calls for their death however, the industry has remained strong, with box office numbers hitting new heights in 2015.

There is one reason cinemas remain resilient – they all have an exclusive period where people can catch the latest and greatest movie releases. Netflix tried to change this by releasing its own original content, but it hasn’t quite dented box office numbers. One movie streaming service that has the backing of J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg could, however, and it’s called Screening Room.
Screening Room is the movie streaming service from Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker and entertainment mogul Prem Akkaraju.

Parker has a history of running services that are popular with consumers everywhere, but unlike Napster, which ran into legal trouble with the music industry, Screening Room is trying to enlist the industry’s help before its launch.
According to Variety, several big names have already agreed to participate in the service, including Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, J.J. Abrams, Brian Grazer, and Ron Howard. It’s no surprise that they’re all on-board, as each director has a stake in the service – much like several big-name artists have a stake in Tidal.

Jeff Blake, the former vice chairman of Sony Pictures, is also a stakeholder, having reportedly been consulting for Screening Room for months on end and working tirelessly to get the movie industry on-board.
The goal of Screening Room is to offer movies on the same day of release in theaters for a $50 fee per movie. It would also charge $150 for access to its anti-piracy equipped set-top box that will transmit the movies – a much more affordable option to offer their clients than similar service Prima Cinema, which costs around $35,000 for the hardware and $500 per movie.

The differences between Prima Cinema and Screening Room don’t end there, either. While Prima Cinema offers some of the latest releases, Screening Room is hoping to sign up as many movie studios as it can to offer pretty much every film released.
The biggest stumbling block to Screening Room will be the cinemas themselves – they’re a force to be reckoned with and have often boycotted films, or at least threatened to boycott them, if something doesn’t go their way.
To ensure that cinemas jump on-board with the scheme, Screening Room is supposedly cutting them in on the revenue. In fact, they are set to get one of the biggest slices of the pie, with $20 out of every $50 reportedly going to the cinema chain – customers will also get two free cinema tickets to see the movie at the cinema, meaning cinemas could still upsell customers on concessions.

Industry Reaction
Despite the incentives, it appears movie studios and cinema chains are still skeptical. Deadline caught up with some of those in the industry before they head to CinemaCon.
“The minute that we allow this (day-and-date) streaming, it will vastly diminish theatrical exhibition,” said one studio exec. “They say it will take 10 to 15 years to impact them, but who knows the time frame? Look at what happened to the music industry.”
One insider notes: “The anti-piracy element of the box isn’t sure-fire. People come up with very sophisticated ways to prevent piracy and then some 17-year old comes along and hacks into it. If you don’t think piracy is real, you might want to talk with the producers of Expendables 3.”

Cinemark’s CEO Mark Zoradi said in a statement: “The exhibition window has been the most stable window long-term and the theatrical success of a film drives the value proposition for the studios’ downstream ancillary markets. Cinemark believes that any day-and-date propositions must be critically evaluated to avoid the devaluation of the exhibition window and all subsequent revenue streams of our content providers.”

“Anyone who predicts day-and-date for major releases is talking out of their hat,” one insider told Deadline.
“It doesn’t work. The revenues just aren’t there. Distributors are experimenting with a shorter window, but even the small guys who do day-and-date know it doesn’t work.
“Marketing is the biggest problem that distribution faces. That’s the only rationale for day-and-date: reduce marketing costs and hope that the theatrical element draws more attention, gets them better placement on the VOD menu and reduces marketing spend.

“Any reasonable-sized budget is unrecoverable with a simultaneous release model. Even the people who do day-and-date aren’t happy with the results.”
Despite some in the industry reacting negatively to the news, including Art House theatres that could have the most to lose, some still support the idea – with reports claiming that Paramount Pictures and the country’s biggest cinema chain AMC are on-board.

“At least conversations have started about how to address all these issues. No one they have met with to this point have slammed a door in their faces,” said one supporter who did not want to be identified.
“If all the different stakeholders are not on board, it’s not going to happen. You have to have exhibition, distribution and film-makers all on board and that conversation has started. We are in a new world and the issues have to be viewed differently and through a different lens and that’s what they are doing.”

Top Hollywood Directors/Producers React
James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, and Jon Landau remain unconvinced by the Screening Room, however. In an exclusive interview with Deadline Cameron and Landau spoke about how damaging the service would be to the film industry.
James Cameron would likely have the most to lose. The director is one of the most successful of all time, holding the top two spaces in terms of box office grosses – Avatar and Titanic. The director has also been behind the successes of The Terminator and Alien series – both which reaped in massive rewards at the box office.
Speaking to Deadline, Cameron and Landau, one of Hollywood’s top producers, described how movies should “be offered exclusively in theatres for their initial release.”

Explaining their reasoning behind that decision Jon Landau said: “Both Jim and I remain committed to the sanctity of the in-theatre experience. For us, from both a creative and financial standpoint, it is essential for movies to be offered exclusively in theatres for their initial release.”

It’s a heavy blow to the Screening Room’s PR campaign, but it’s an understandable one. For years the cinema industry has boasted about its ability to offer experiences unrivaled to people’s homes – including in terms of optics, whether it be Dolby Vision or commercial-grade projectors and sound, with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D.

While many of these experiences are available at home, commercial-grade technologies have always tended to be superior to their residential counterparts – and not even a state-of-the-art home theatre can beat the sheer size of an IMAX screen.

Landau continued: “We don’t understand why the industry would want to provide audiences an incentive to skip the best form to experience the art that we work so hard to create. To us, the in-theatre experience is the wellspring that drives our entire business, regardless of what other platforms we eventually play on and should eventually play on.
“No one is against playing in the home, but there is a sequencing of events that leads to it. The in-theater communal experience is very special.”
Both Landau and Cameron also remain unconvinced that the Screening Room’s set-top box will be as ‘piracy-proof’ as it claims. Others have already noted that it can be circumvented just by recording the screen the movie is being played on using an HD camera – it seems Landau and Cameron agree.
“Once something is available in the home, you open yourself up to a vulnerability of piracy and what we have learned is that people who watch pirated movies, do not care about the quality of what they watch,” he said.
There’s also the problem with the ‘water fountain effect’. While it costs $50 to rent a movie for 48 hours, there’s no saying how many people will watch that $50 download. It could potentially be one or two or even fifty. If it’s the latter, then movie studios would lose significant revenue.

“I heard Today show hosts talk on air about, ‘Oh great, let’s have opening day event parties at our home to watch the movie.’ Who knows how many people would attend? As an industry, we have a responsibility to support all the theaters not only the big chains in big cities, but all theaters — in small towns and the small chains, too.
We do that by creating quality content and the theater owners have a responsibility to continually upgrade their theaters to provide a state of the art presentations,” Landau continued.

“I really view the distributors and theater owners as partners in this industry and we need to work together to continue to create an in-theater special experience for moviegoers around the world.”
James Cameron and Jon Landau aren’t the only directors against the plan though. Christopher Nolan backed the two Hollywood giants up by saying: “It would be hard to express the great importance of exclusive theatrical presentation to our industry more compellingly than Jon Landau and James Cameron did.”

While the two most successful directors of all time are supposedly on-board with the plan, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, James Cameron ranks third in terms of total box office takings. Fourth place Michael Bay has remained silent on the matter thus far.

In 2011 Universal Studios attempted to release the film Tower Heist on VOD the same day it came out at cinemas. At the time Michael Bay joined countless other directors, including Christopher Nolan, James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino opposing the plan. He was joined by Peter Jackson – who has since changed his position on day-and-date releases.

Offline Peter CINERAMAX

Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
Re: Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
« Reply #2 on: Fri June 10, 2016, 03:24:09 PM »
Screening Room Didn’t ‘Get a Lot of Traction,’ Movie Theater Trade Group Says

Brent Lang   
Brent Lang
June 9, 2016

The Screening Room isn’t riding to movie theaters’ rescue. It’s part of an effort to bolster a sagging home entertainment market, according to executives at the National Association of Theatre Owners.

“Any talk about shortening the window is not in order to benefit the theatrical market … it is because of the difficulties in the home [entertainment] market,” Patrick Corcoran, vice president and chief communications officer for the exhibition industry trade association, said at the Gabelli movie and entertainment conference on Thursday.

He noted that the domestic box office reached a record $11 billion last year, but that the home entertainment industry, weighed down by the collapse of DVD sales and rentals, has lost $6 billion in revenue since 2005.

Screening Room, a startup backed by Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame and Prem Akkaraju, is trying to capture an older audience they claim is not going to movie theaters. The company is offering new theatrical releases in the home for $50 a rental. To interest exhibitors and studios in the initiative, they plan to share the profits with both groups. But Corcoran suggested that their pitch is falling on deaf ears. AMC, the country’s second largest chain, is backing Screening Room, but no studios or other major theater groups are supporting the technology.

“It got a lot of attention in the press, but it didn’t get a lot of traction in the industry itself,” said Corcoran.

NATO has no official position on Screening Room, but Corcoran said that it was critical that the industry protect the “exclusivity” of the theatrical release window. The fact that audiences can only access certain movies in theaters for a select period of time is a major reason that they continue to draw crowds.

As the home entertainment industry constricts, the Chinese marketplace continues to expand at a dazzling clip. Ticket sales in the Middle Kingdom grew 49%, hitting $6.8 billion. Analysts expect that China will surpass the U.S. as the top market for film by 2017.

However, only a small percentage of those riches are reaching studios, Corcoran argued. He noted that China is dependent on local producers for the bulk of their films. Domestically, the seven top studios, a group that includes Disney, Universal, and Warner Bros., account for 90% of theatrical revenue. In China, they are responsible for 38.5% of the market share. Moreover, because of Chinese regulations, Hollywood companies can only take out 25% of revenues out of the country. That means that despite the record ticket sales, China only contributed $650 million to major studios in 2015.

“While China is important … it’s still not anywhere near what they’re getting domestically,” said Corcoran.

Hollywood’s attraction to China extends beyond its massive population of moviegoers. Chinese firms and companies such as Dalian Wanda, Alibaba, and Studio 8 have partnered with the biggest studios or invested in their slates in some capacity.

“It should be taken as a vote of confidence in the power of Hollywood to create global products,” said Phil Contrino, data research manager at NATO.

Beyond China and Sean Parker, Corcoran argued that concerns that younger consumers are rejecting movies for digital forms of entertainment are overblown. Teenagers over-index in terms of their attendance, representing 8% of the population, while buying 16% of movie tickets, he said. Studies show that this audience segment has declined in recent years, but Corcoran suggested that the problem was with the surveys themselves. He noted that younger consumers don’t have landlines, making them hard to poll.

“They are not only hard to reach in terms of marketing, but they are hard to reach in surveying behavior,” said Corcoran.

Offline Peter CINERAMAX

Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
Re: Would Screening Room Hurt or Help the Movie Business?
« Reply #3 on: Fri June 10, 2016, 03:24:30 PM »
Billionaire Sean Parker's innovative movie startup is already a dud according to one exec — here's why
Jason Guerrasio
Jun. 9, 2016, 11:24 AM    2,907  1
sean parker
Sean Parker. Michael Buckner / Getty Images
Though Sean Parker's latest startup proposing to offer movies still in theaters for home viewing has received a lot of press, according to an executive in the movie exhibition industry, the company isn't making much noise in Hollywood.

"It didn't get a lot of traction in the industry itself," said Patrick Corcoran, vice president and chief communications officer for the National Association of Theatre Owners, according to Variety.

Parker's Screening Room would offer new theatrical releases to stream at home for a rental price of $50 each. Director Peter Jackson, the only person involved with Screening Room who has spoken extensively about it, told Deadline that the mission of the company is to "inject health" into the movie industry by splitting the money Screening Room gets with exhibitors so, as Jackson puts it, the theaters and studios use the money to "improve the [cinematic] experience" and "get more films made."

But Corcoran pointed out at a conference on Thursday that eliminating the window between the theatrical release and when people can see a movie at home wouldn't help theaters.

"Any talk about shortening the window is not in order to benefit the theatrical market," he said. "It is because of the difficulties in the home [entertainment] market."

Though the domestic box office saw a record $11 billion in earnings in 2015 (thanks "Star Wars"), the Blu-ray/DVD industry is continuing to crumble, as it has lost $6 billion in revenue since 2005, according to Variety.

This is likely why Screening Room isn't gaining many fans on the industry side in Hollywood. Though theatrical box office is only living off a handful of hits a year (which is scary), keeping a window between theatrical and home viewing is critical for making that possible.

Corcoran said at the conference that it's vital for the industry to protect the "exclusivity" of the theatrical release window.

Currently, the fate of Screening Room is unknown. Neither Parker nor anyone else running the company has commented about it.