Sean Parker, Napster co-founder and ex-Facebook president, is cooking up another big project. According to Variety, he and Prem Akkaraju (an exec at SFX Entertainment, Inc.) have recently pitched a premium day-and-date movie release service to studio representatives. It's reportedly called "the Screening Room," and the duo promised studios that it can protect the movies with a secure anti-piracy technology.
If it sees the light of day, it'll cost you $150 to buy the set-top box that transmits movies the same day they come out in the theatres. Every title will be available for you to watch within a 48-hour period, but you'll have to pay $50 every time you view it. Steep, but at least you can watch movies in peace, without screaming kids and loud adults in the background. Plus, there's a reason they plan to charge that much.
See, in order to convince studios and theatres to get on board, Parker and Akkaraju are offering them a lion's share of the per-view fee. They even plan to give you two movie tickets for every title you pay for, so cinemas can earn from concession sales. After everyone else gets their cuts, the Screening Room takes its $5 commission.
Variety says Universal, Fox and Sony are already showing serious interest and have been studying the duo's business plan closely. The two also told the people in their presentation that they're close to signing a deal with AMC, which is in the midst of acquiring Carmike Cinemas. Negotiations are still in the very early stages, though. They still need to hash out details, especially since the Screening Room wants to be studios' exclusive content partner.