Sean Parker Touts Pricey Home Movie Service to Hollywood Studios, Theater Owners

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Sean Parker

It remains to be seen whether enough theater chains will support the venture to make it work.

Sean Parker, of Napster fame, and music executive Prem Akkaraju are plotting an expensive in-home movie service that once again raises the controversial idea of making new titles available in the home at the same time they hit theaters.

The duo have been making the rounds promoting their new venture, The Screening Room, to both Hollywood studios and cinema owners, who have long bristled at the notion of such day-and-date releases, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.

Akkaraju and Parker's company would charge customers roughly $150 for access to a secure set-top box and $50 to rent a film for 48 hours, sources say. Jeff Blake, Sony's former president of worldwide marketing and distribution, is consulting with the duo.

Studio executives who have been briefed on the plan say any deal to provide content is a long way off and contingent upon the reaction of theater owners.

The Screening Room is attempting to get exhibitors onboard by cutting them in on a share of the revenue. AMC Entertainment is reportedly interested, but insiders say the country's other major chains, including Regal and Cinemark, are less than enthusiastic.

Several years ago, Universal and several other studios were forced to drop a plan to make movies available early in the home via DirecTV after a loud outcry among theater owners.

Executives with The Screening Room could not be reached, while AMC declined comment.

Variety first reported details of The Screening Room's plans.