Peter Jackson happy to put cinemas out of business sooner

Good to see Peter Jackson looking to help break the monopoly on cinema releases…though at fifty dollars per movie I’m not sure there would be many takers.

Sir Peter Jackson has thrown his support behind a proposed service that would allow people to watch movies at home the same day they are released at the cinema.

Subscribers to Screening Room would pay $50 per new release and have 48 hours to watch the film.

The Oscar-winning director says the service is an inevitable move in the industry.

Blockbuster movies like Batman Versus Superman are big business, and opening night at the cinema is usually a good pointer to success or failure.

But what if you can’t make the movie theatre; what if you could pay to watch the film at home?  

“When the likes of Peter Jackson says it’s an innovative concept everyone sits up and takes notice, so I think the jury’s out and we’ll see what transpires over the coming months,” says president of Motion Picture Distributors’ Association of New Zealand Peter Garner.

Sir Peter has publically given his support to Screening Room, the brainchild of Facebook’s founding president, Sean Parker.

“As a concept it may well work and there will be some people out there who will invest $200 to get the set box and get the movie for 48 hours, so it’ll suit some and wont suit others,” says Mr Garner.

It’ll be $150 to set up the service and a further $50 for each movie, but importantly you get to watch it the moment it’s released at the cinema. So will this signal the death of the movie theatre?

“I think sitting in a full movie theatre of 220 people all laughing your heads off or crying or screaming is something you can’t replicate in the home environment,” says Mr Garner.

Fifty bucks to watch a movie at home…GFY. I don’t think that will fly at all.

I’m prepared to wait and pay even less.

– Newshub


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  • Sideshow11

    The cool thing about the times we live in is that we are seeing all the traditional medias and entertainment industries being challenged by new technologies . And we get to watch the free market decide . Of course there will be those that want to protect the old way , however nothing stays the same . Just ask the Romans

    • pisces8284 .

      I agree, I love technology. However it’s changing so quickly that it gives me a headache trying to work it all out

      • Old Dig

        Yes, I love technology but I tend to avoid the latest thing because too often new tech becomes obsolete very quickly. Gotta feel sorry for the fools that bought HD DVD machines and Mini disc players.

  • KatB

    How about making cheaper movies, less special effects and more good scripts and good acting. There’s hardly any movies made worth the money they charge now let alone 50 bucks.

    • waldopepper

      yes, give us another godfather level movie or something similar please.

  • Simon P

    I would pay $50 not to have sit in a cinema.

    • Crowgirl

      My husband would be right into this as well – he hates the cinema so we never get to see anything until it hits the cable TV channels.

      He would use this service but I’d expect with my penny pinching, he wouldn’t get to use it except very selectively. I wonder if it’s financially viable if subscribers only watch 1 or 2 movies a year on it.

    • johcar

      When you think about it, $50 is probably what you would spend at a movie theatre anyway – tickets, parking, dinner (burger), beers, popcorn, icecream – that gotta be fifty bucks, easy!!!

  • MaryLou

    I’d still go to the cinema. I like the popcorn… mind you, I’d frequent the movies a lot more often if it wasn’t so damned expensive to take the family.

  • I took little miss 6 to the movies last weekend. 2 tickets, 2 icecreams and a popcorn came to $58
    I’d happily pay $50 for a new release to watch on projector at home and would be a $20 saving when I factor in the wife could watch it as well

    • Skydog

      Totally agree. The other half and I hardly ever go out to the movies. Add in a baby sitter and a movie can cost us close to $100.

  • Justme

    $50 bucks would be worth it, if you were wanting to watch the movie. If it is a good one, you could watch it twice. Or bring a couple of friends around and do it that way.
    One trip to the movies can cost a couple near $50 without the food, and you end up in horrible seats with noisy people behind you.
    And, I don’t need 220 other people indicating to me when to laugh or not.

  • Left Right Out

    $50 is not to bad actually…… at the movies 2 adult tickets, 2 ice creams, 2 drinks a popcorn and some m and m’s will probably run you more

  • Brian Smaller

    Even in Wanganui it is expensive to take a group to the movies. Four of us, plus some icecream/popcorn was close on $80.00. Frankly, apart from the ‘night out’ aspect of going to the movies I would rather pay to watch a new movie at home. Least I know the facilities are clean.

    • mixedblood

      Yes, we’ve been there too and had to look hard to find seats that didn’t have residual food particles on them.

  • RockinBob625

    Part of the deal with Screening Room is that you get a voucher to go to the big screen cinema, and so the cinema owner does not miss out completely. If the movie looks good at home on your 55″, 65″ 78″ screen, it will look awesome on the big screen and then you will go again and buy an ice cream etc.

    Many groups of people cannot go to the cinema itself, those with some disabilities or behavioral issues. Some parents dont go because its a lot of money to go plus find a babysitter or put up with your toddler fidgeting the whole movie. For many the time and distance is an issue.

    Finally its not just Peter Jackson that supports it. Spielberg and Ron Howard are also on board. Its not to everyone’s taste, I agree. But neither is rugby, racing and beer.

    • SlightlyStrange

      Yep – $50 to watch at home at a time that actually suits husband and I, while also not having to find a babysitter, would wind up cheaper than a date to the movies (which we have never justified – there hasn’t been anything on that we’ve desperately wanted to see enough to pay a sitter to make that happen).
      But having to buy ANOTHER set-top box to do it puts me off. We certainly wouldn’t make our money back on that.

      • RockinBob625

        The extra box will be justified to prevent copying. Movies will likely be downloaded to the box prior to your watching, to create the best image quality without buffering. A similar system already exists but runs to around $20,000 if I remember correctly.

        • johcar

          All they need to do is release it to Google Play Movies and whatever the Apple equivalent is. No need for yet another set top box!

  • Goathurder

    I wonder if the set box has the facility to pause/record /rewind. That would make it useful for those that pee a lot (pause) and those that like to re-watch movies (record) and then those pain in the butt people that like to re-watch the last 20 seconds (REWIND)
    To my mind it would only be worth it with at least this capability plus some other encouraging incentives.
    Happy Sunday folks!

    • Old Dig

      One of the worst things cinemas did was getting rid of intermissions.

  • Debs

    I’d pay $50 to watch this in my own home. Can’t stand sharing the cinema with ignorant poeple who chat, use their cell phone and generally are inconsiderate and annoying. And in terms of price, it’s comparable if there are two of you to watch the movie, by the time you pay for parking, drinks and snacks. I don’t think this will replace the cinema, but will give people another option.

    • Miss Phit

      And more than one person can watch for that price. Makes a family outing way cheaper with fuel/parking/dinner and a movie costing well over $50 for the average family of 5

  • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

    I think the Big German KDC will need to adjust his movie business model in the future if

    wants to remain in business when he is released in 2041.

  • Jaffa

    I watched a blockbuster movie in a cinema, years ago.
    It was amazing.
    And when it came on tv, it was nothing, very disappointing.
    I can’t imagine watching it on a phone!
    Give me the cinema any day.

  • oldmanNZ

    like you , i can wait for the blu ray version.
    cinemas is a risk for me. my bladder is not as strectable as they used to be, probably only hold a cup full these days, not pints.
    $50? I can buy the DVD.

    cinemas is for kids who want to see a movie with their freinds but dont have their own home with a 65″ surround sound system

  • Mark156

    Well,make a movie thats worth watching then we’ll talk.

  • Oh Please

    Sounds good to me! I can squeeze 200 people in my front room at $10 per head. Mebbe I can do popcorn for a fortune too…nah, it’ll be to difficult to remove all the taste the way the cinemas do.

  • Shane Ponting

    Maybe if you get next level definition (so 4K now, and then when 4K is normal – 8K or whatever) and something dropped off by the courier (a tangible collector’s item) it would sweeten the deal $50 deal.

  • Andy

    The last time I went to a cinema that had 200 people was Neil Young’s Harvest concert in 1981 at Cinerama.