Following the unveiling of Screening Room, a $50 home movie rental service developed by Napster founder Sean Parker, three major film directors have spoken out in support of the idea. Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies), JJ Abrams (Star Trek (2009), Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Steven Spielberg (duh) have thrown their support behind the movie rental initiative, which allows customers to view new cinema releases at home, for a premium.
Jackson spoke at length to Variety about why he supports Screening Room, while Spielberg and Abrams (pictured above) have been revealed as investors in the business, alongside fellow directors Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and Frank Marshall.
“I had concerns about ‘DirecTV’ in 2011, because it was a concept that I believe would have led to the cannibalization of theatrical revenues, to the ultimate detriment of the movie business,” Jackson (pictured with Spielberg, above) told Variety. “Screening Room, however, is very carefully designed to capture an audience that does not currently go to the cinema.”
That is a critical point of difference with the DirecTV approach – and along with Screening Room’s robust anti-piracy strategy, is exactly why Screening Room has my support,” Jackson added. “Screening Room will expand the audience for a movie – not shift it from cinema to living room. It does not play off studio against theater owner. Instead it respects both, and is structured to support the long-term health of both exhibitors and distributors – resulting in greater sustainability for the wider film industry itself.”