Adding their voices to the growing chorus of disapproval, the UK’s Cinema Association Friday released a statement blasting Sean Parker’s planned home movie service The Screening Room as “a massive risk” and “an unprecedented opportunity for film piracy.”
The group, which reps more than 90% of the British exhibs, defended the theatrical model, “which remains the key driver of revenue for the entire business.” The Screening Room is a new first-run movie service being pitched around town by Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker. Essentially, $150 gets one a set-top box, with a $50 per-movie charge for a 48-hour rental.
The plan has sparked strong passions with a number of filmmakers, including James Cameron, Christopher Nolan and Brett Ratner, coming out strongly against the scheme, while the likes of Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams and Peter Jackson are backing it.
The Cinema Association acknowledged that while there is space and a need for greater innovation in the exhibition space, “The appropriate forum for this is through discussion between cinema operators, our partners in film distribution and those with realistic long term value-enhancing ideas, not those offering unsustainable alternatives.”