Skip to main content

Movie studios might let people rent films still in theaters for $50

Movie studios might let people rent films still in theaters for $50

Share this story

You might soon be able to see a movie on opening night without leaving your couch. According to a report from Variety, top studio executives are considering a partnership with Screening Room, a new service that would give viewers at-home access to movies the same day they're out in theaters. The startup is backed by Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker.

Never leave home again

Screening Room representatives have recently been pitching the service's "secure anti-piracy technology" to major Hollywood studios like Universal, Fox, and Sony, Variety reports. Its technology could be appealing to studios as a way to combat, or preempt, online leaks of movies still in theaters. Still, studios are reportedly hesitant to jump aboard, for several reasons. Screening Room reportedly wants to be the studios' exclusive content partner, which might be a roadblock for studios who normally make their movies available on several platforms. The studios are also not thrilled at the prospect of eclipsing the time between theatrical and home release, which would put them in a strained position with theaters, according to Variety.

The service plans to charge $150 for its set-top box and $50 per movie with a 48-hour window of availability, Variety reports. While $50 per movie might be steep for an individual viewer, in a group setting it would likely be cheaper than going to a theater. Additionally, a $50 movie purchase from Screening Room will also get the customer two free tickets to see the movie at a theater, according to Variety.

Screening Room's talks with the studios are still in the very early stages. Sources have told Variety that Screening Room is close to finalizing a deal with AMC, but for now none of this has been confirmed.