$50 Bucks To Watch New Release Movies at Home?
Napster co-founder Sean Parker is hoping people will want to spend $50 to stream the latest new release movies to your home, and never have to step foot in a movie theater. Parker is working on a new project, called the Screening Room, that would allow users to pay to watch movies from home on the same day they’re released in theaters. The Screening Room, the company offers secure anti-piracy technology that will offer new releases in the home on the same day they hit theaters, sources tell Variety.
Here are the numbers.
The films would cost $50 per view, and would run on a $150 set-top box that would stream the movies over the Internet to users’ homes. In comparison, an individual movie ticket can cost anywhere from a few dollars to $30, depending on the theater. To sweeten the deal (for movie theater companies), Variety says that The Screening Room will also offer two free tickets to people who have paid the $50, just in case they want to see the movie again and also buy overpriced popcorn.
According to Variety, The Screening Room brass are telling studios that they’re close to a deal with Kansas City-based, Chinese-owned AMC, the largest theater chain in the U.S. (pending approval of its Carmike Cinemas acquisition). Universal, Fox and Sony, Variety has also named as interested parties.
Any premium video-on-demand model that breaks through the traditional 90-day window between opening weekend and a home video debut is a radioactive topic in the movie business, which still leans hard on movie theaters to work. With so much competition for screen time, marketing assets in lobbies and other small favors, no Hollywood studio wants to be publicly perceived as pursuing this practice, whether on its own or via a third party.
So while Parker and his pals may make the numbers work — and may even have Hollywood insiders at least appearing to be interested — don’t count on pay-per-view movie night at your house anytime soon.