A hot topic at the tail-end of this weeks LOS FANBOYS podcast was a discussion about THE SCREENING ROOM. The service is looking to provide same day at-home releases of feature films, meaning that- for a $50 fee- you'd be able to watch BATMAN V SUPERMAN at home on your couch next Friday with a group of friends.
The latest attempt in a movement to quell piracy and increase revenues, as more and more people are opting to stay home and enjoy their own entertainment systems- which can rival the experience they get at a theater- is coming under fire. The U.K. Cinema Association has come out against the service, warning that it will only hurt the industry, not help it.
Here are a few excerpts from a statement the group, which represents 90% of U.K. cinema operators:
“‘The Screening Room’ represents a massive risk to the future prosperity not only of this association’s members and their counterparts in other territories, but also of colleagues across the wider film industry.”
“It is difficult to envisage how this proposal — if adopted — could do anything other than present an unprecedented opportunity for film piracy while at the same time damaging the foundations of a cinema business, which remains the key driver of revenue for the entire business.”
“The cinema experience represents not only over 40% of total film revenues, but also generates ‘word of mouth’ marketing which benefits every other subsequent platform. This proposal would therefore inevitably lead to a loss in overall income for the film industry.
“There is no evidence to suggest that significant numbers of people are willing to pay £35 ($50) to watch even the biggest films at home on day of release."
The Screening Room is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju, and may face a continued uphill battle if more organizations like this come out against it- or if they don't alter their plans.
Where do you stand? Would a service like The Screening Room be of interest to you? I know that I, personally, have never had any interest in this sort of thing. For me, the theatergoing experience is a big part of the fun for me when it comes to movies, and no matter how suped-up my home entertainment system may be I'll always prefer the ritual of actually going to a theater. Let me know where you stand.
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