Earlier this month, we reported on a new movie streaming service by the name of Screening Room. Backed by Napster co-founder Sean Parker, the service would provide allow for in-home streaming of feature films at the same time they were available in theaters. The catch? The service won’t be cheap – it’s currently looking at $50 per film.
The service is backed by directors like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, and J.J. Abrams, but that doesn’t mean that all of Hollywood is thrilled about the idea. Other directors such as James Cameron and Chrisopher Nolan have been critical of the service, and both theaters and distributors are concerned that the service will harm ticket sales.
Rush Hour director Brett Ratner was initially against the service, but his stance on Screening Room softened once he saw the service in action. Though still not happy about the day-and-date aspect of the service, the director was impressed by the technology, Variety reports.
If seeing the technology in action is what it takes, Screening Room may soon have more industry insiders in its corner, as CEO Prem Akkaraju will be in attendance at CinemaCon to meet with exhibitors. The annual industry trade show takes place in Las Vegas next month.
Screening Room knows that it’s going to need more than solid tech to work with the industry, which explains part of the service’s price tag. The service plans to pay exhibitors a major cut of the revenue — as much as $20 of the $50 price tag — and will also offer customers who pay the fee two tickets to see the movie in theaters. Participating distributors would also get a hefty cut, said to be 20 percent of the price.
Once Screening Room is live, it won’t be as simple as downloading an app for the streaming device of your choice. The service will use its own set-top box, which will sell for around $150. One a digital ticket is purchased, customers will have 48 hours to view the film.