Napster founder is planning to offer a day-and-date movie release service at home for $50
Napster co-founder Sean Parker is backing a startup called the Screening Room that will bring theatrical releases into the home theater on the same day they hit theaters. The Screening Room is currently in talks with movie studios on renting access for a price of $50 per film. This platform will not only encourage Hollywood studios and exhibitors but will also offer anti-piracy technology that will keep digital copies of the films off the Web, sources tell Variety.
Consumers will be required to purchase a set-top box for $150 to stream the movies over the Internet to access one of these same-day rentals. The films would cost $50 per view.
For example, if a consumer wishes to rent a film like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on March 25, they would pay a $50 rental fee for access to stream the film over a 48-hour window. Presumably, the film could be watched multiple times during the rental access window. In comparison, depending on the theater, an individual movie ticket can cost anywhere from a few dollars to $30.
According to a Variety report, the company might be prepared to cut exhibitors in on the deal, handing them up to $20 per screening. Further, customers who pay $50 to watch at home would then get two free tickets to watch the movie in the cinema, thus opening the potential for lucrative concession sales.
Interestingly, Screening Room would cut in movie theater chains as much as 40 percent for each rental. This is an attempt to prevent a severe backlash from theatrical chains that are vehemently against any technology that keeps moviegoers at home. Needless to say, distributors will also demand a cut and it’s being reported they would receive a 20 percent share of the $50 outlay. For their part, Screening Room is looking at taking just 10 percent ($5) from each viewing.
While still in the early stages of development, it’s reported that Screening Room representatives have been meeting with all the major studios with Universal, Fox and Sony showing a lot of interest. According to sources, the company is close to doing a deal with AMC, one of the largest exhibitors in the United States.
Well, this is not the first attempt to bring same-day theatrical releases into the home, but based on the price being offered to the consumer, this is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious plans. Prior to Screening Room, Prima Cinema started offering hardware for $35,000 that brings theatrical releases into the home for a huge fee of $500 per film.