We knew this time would come eventually. I wouldn't say the writing is on the wall for theaters, but it was inevitable that there would be a service that would give audiences the option to see newly-released films in the comforts of their own home. Understandably, theater chains have been against this whole movement, though Sean Parker, Napster co-founder and tech mogul, may have a plan that will get studios, theaters, and consumers all on board.
He calls this new service The Screening Room, Variety reports.
"Screening Room would charge about $150 for access to the set-top box that transmits the movies and charge $50 per view. Consumers have a 48-hour window to view the film."
This is, of course, a bit on the pricey side, but I'd assume this would result in consumers basically throwing in $5-10 a pop and watching the movie in groups. Looking at it that way, the deal doesn't seem so bad. And as far as the price for the set-top box goes, I'd assume that would either drop in price over time, or would eventually become an app for devices like Roku or Apple TV--but that's just me speculating. Perhaps there's something special about the box that has to do with piracy that makes it impossible to have it in app form.
Distributors would get around 20% cut of the profits, and The Screening Room service would get 10%.
But how does this appeal to theaters? The Screening Room may actually give theaters a significant percentage of the ticket price--as high as $20/movie of the total $50 price. In addition, the service will also offer two theater tickets. This way, exhibitors can benefit from concessions (because, let's be real, that's where they get their money, anyway).
Admittedly, I'm not quite sure how this would work. If I buy the $50 stream, which theater chain gets the money? Will this only work if one theater chain signs on? What if a handful of chains sign on? Is it based on which theater is closest? If this is only a service that benefits theaters that agree to it, then it seems like one that may doom theaters who do NOT sign on. On the other hand, if too many theaters sign on, will it force them to split the profits equally amongst themselves, ultimately making it not worth it?
Perhaps they've already figured out this issue, but either way, the future for this service seems bright. According to the report, they are close to closing a deal with AMC, which is one of the largest exhibitors in the world.
What do you think of this idea? Let us know in the comments down below!
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