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:
â€œâ€˜The Screening Roomâ€™ represents a massive risk to the future prosperity not only of this associationâ€™s members and their counterparts in other territories, but also of colleagues across the wider film industry.â€
â€œIt is difficult to envisage how this proposal â€” if adopted â€” 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.â€
â€œThe cinema experience represents not only over 40% of total film revenues, but also generates â€˜word of mouthâ€™ marketing which benefits every other subsequent platform. This proposal would therefore inevitably lead to a loss in overall income for the film industry.
â€œThere is no evidence to suggest that significant numbers of people are willing to pay Â£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 beI’ll always prefer the ritual of actually going to a theater. Let me know where you stand.
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