Movie Studios Considering $50 Same-Day Release Rentals, Moviegoers Considering Piracy

A new service called The Screening Room is trying to convince movie studios to make new releases available for rent the day they come out in theatres – at the hefty price of $150 for equipment and $50 per movie for a 48-hour rental. This is, somehow, supposed to combat movie piracy. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you finish rolling around on the floor laughing.

Remember in the late 90s/early aughts when the Recording Industry Association of America was insisting that consumers had to buy CDs at the steep price of $17 an album, stubbornly refused to embrace digital, and lost a ton of customers to piracy? This is even worse, because the idea here is that consumers should pay either $15 to see a movie in theatres or $50 (plus equipment) to watch it at home. The Screening Room is a little late to the party, right? Who wouldn’t just wait a few days and then torrent it, if that’s the case?

Ironically, The Screening Room is headed up by Sean Parker, of Napster fame. Variety reports that they’re close to setting up a deal with AMC, but that the service leaves a lot to be desired on the studios’ end, too — the contract requires that the service be the exclusive content partner for a studio that signed on, which means that the studio couldn’t release their movies on various other platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.); it also would put the studios in a bad position with movie theatres. Worst idea ever?


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