Theater Owners Group Rejects Sean Parker’s Screening Room Idea

“Release models should be developed by distributors and exhibitors in company-to-company discussions, not by a third party,” group says in statement

The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) has responded to Sean Parker’s proposed streaming movie service Screening Room.

“Within a few days of the first report, several different high profile movie directors publicly stated their support for the model,” NATO said in a statement, referring to both Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, as well as Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. “Movie theater operators, however, will individually decide what business models work for movie theater operators.”

“More sophisticated window modeling may be needed for the growing success of a modern movie industry,” the statement concluded. “Those models should be developed by distributors and exhibitors in company-to-company discussions, not by a third party.”

Parker has proposed that, for a fee, movie fans should be able to stream new releases in their homes on the same day they get released in theaters.

Under Parker’s proposal, consumers would pay about $150 for a set-top box and access to new releases for $50 on the day of its theatrical release. Movie theaters and distributors would each receive $20 of the fee, with The Screening Room keeping $10.

Read NATO’s full statement below:

Recently there have been various reports in the media regarding a proposed movie release model called “The Screening Room”. Within a few days of the first report, several different high profile movie directors publicly stated their support for the model, some claiming that the model is good for motion picture exhibitors. Movie theater operators, however, will individually decide what business models work for movie theater operators.

The owners and operators of movie theaters genuinely appreciate the vision and creativity brought to the big screen by motion picture directors. Nothing entertains movie fans better than a great movie exhibited in a modern movie cinema.

The exclusive theatrical release window makes new movies events. Success there establishes brand value and bolsters revenue in downstream markets.

NATO has consistently called on movie distributors and exhibitors to discuss as partners release models that can grow the business for everyone. More sophisticated window modeling may be needed for the growing success of a modern movie industry. Those models should be developed by distributors and exhibitors in company-to-company discussions, not by a third party.