Hollywood's Richest Directors Think $67 For A Movie Is Totally Reasonable

Hollywood's Richest Directors Think $US50 ($67) for a Movie Is Totally Reasonable

Rejoice, world, the plan to use the internet to ensure you never leave the house continues apace. Because a bunch of big Hollywood names are reportedly backing Sean Parker's "Screening Room", a project to let you buy movies at home the day they are released in theatres. According to Variety, Parker's new nightmare venture is being backed by Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Martin Scorsese, Taylor Hackford, Frank Marshall and J.J. Abrams. The idea is that each movie will cost $US50 ($67), with up to $US20 ($27) going to theatres. Customers also get two free movie tickets with the purchase to ensure that they eventually go to the theatre and pony up way too much money for shitty theatre food.

Maybe, maybe, this is cheaper than getting a babysitter and going out. But, alternately, the whole experience of movie-going is based on leaving the house and kids.

Ironically, Peter Jackson hated this plan when it was movie studios giving movies to DirectTV eight weeks after they were released. In a statement to Variety, Jackson said:

I had concerns about 'DirecTV' in 2011, because it was a concept that I believe would have led to the cannibalization of theatrical revenues, to the ultimate detriment of the movie business.

Screening Room, however, is very carefully designed to capture an audience that does not currently go to the cinema.

Is that because the DirectTV deal was at a reasonable price, so it was actually something the average person would take advantage of? Whereas Screening Room is aimed at people who have $67 per movie to spare and somehow also don't have time to leave the house? Pair Screening Room with Seamless and Handy, and you'll never have to see the horrible sunlight or vicious outdoors again!

Screening Room: Leaving your home is overrated.


Photo credit: AP Images

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    When my local tyre store has better seats and better facilities than my local cinema. It's time cinemas lift there game. Not saying they're aren't good cinemas out there, they just tend to be the smaller independent book your tickets far in advance type ones.

      George st V-Max is regular ticket prices, has Dolby ATMOS and has arguably better seats than gold class. Other than that, IMAX at Fox Studios has the best sound/screen going around, also regular ticket prices.

        We just got a new V-Max with Atmos near my place, amazing seats, screens, sound. Ticket prices are expensive however I get mine through my RACQ membership for about $10 discount and just purchase 4 at a time.

        I haven't been to the Fox Studios IMAX, how does it compare to the Darling Harbour one? I found the latter to have a pretty good quality screen and sound system, though the seats were a little densely packed. I guess that comes from the popularity of being the world's biggest IMAX screen though.

          My understanding is that Darling Harbour is "Imax". Hoyts have come along and taken the brand (which is essentially the film type) and made it into a "pro" experience with quality screen/sound.

          It's not as big as the stupidly large darling harbour screen, but since its the same format on a smaller screen (still larger than normal cinema) it's awesome quality. The sound also has some bs technology behind it... and the seats are very good haha.


      Where do you live, g-man, Narrabri? It is decades since I sat in an uncomfortable cinema seat. And if you go to Sydney's Eastgardens complex, they have apparantly removed every second row of seats, allowing every patron to stretch out to their heart's content.

      It's time cinemas lift there game. Not saying they're aren't good cinemas out their...

      Theiy're you go. FIFY

    While I'm not paying $67, many many times I've gone to a theatre, full of shitty, talking, cackling, phonecall taking fucktards who possibly brought their crying baby, and thought "why didn't I just watch this at home on my big screen TV with 7.1 surround sound?". Then again, for $67 I could see everything with my wife at premium lounge anyway.

    Last edited 16/03/16 12:25 pm

      Yep. I'm not willing to pay $67 but I don't like the cinema experience. I don't usually have any problems with the other audience members but it's still not great. Strip out all the inconveniences, put me in a theatre on my own, give me free food and drinks, skip the 25 minutes of pre-movie junk where the most entertaining thing is a trailer I already saw on YouTube, and I'd still prefer to watch it at home.

      As dumb as it is I do like that this is trying to find a solutions that keep cinemas alive. I want movies at home the day they're released but I think it'll fragment the audience too much. Theatres won't survive the loss of people like us, and I don't think digital only releases will be able to support movies with the large budgets we've become used to. I hate to admit it, but those people you described are supporting the movies I like and most of them are only there to get out of the house for a few hours.

      Wow where are you going to the movies? I can't even hear anyone else around me at my local.

      Again, where do you live? I go to cinemas all over Sydney - from Top Ryde to Bondi Junction - and I cannot remember EVER having problems with phones, noisy patrons or crying babies. I'm sure it has happened but not in the last 10 years and not to any degree that would make sitting at home more desirable.

        Well I went to IMAX at Darling Harbour not long ago with my son and missus and some prick next to me starting texting and carrying on with his phone. Very distracting and annoying to everyone all around. So after I asked him to please put his phone away and he ignored me I took it off him and told him I would decide after the movie whether to give it back to him or chuck it in the Harbour, closely followed by him. He looked very cranky and abused me and after I told him to be quiet or suffer some very serious consequences. He quietened down a bit and after the movie I chucked his phone in the bin at the entrance. Unfortunately he didn't listen to my polite request to turn his phone off, otherwise I would have just ignored him - but paying heaps to go to IMAX and put up with this crap from selfish assholes? No thanks. Management should have a clear policy - a warning on the screen before the movie starts, then kick offenders out with no second chances.

      I see this enough to think similar. On one hand, I generally dont enjoy the cinema experience outside seeing a movie on release. There always seems to be that group of people talking, laughing, etc that just be annoying at the wrong time. Not always, but enough.

      I'd much rather watch something at home. My thinking is that once you factor in tickets, drinks, refreshments, travel costs, and so on, its costing enough that $67 is suddenly similar to the minimum you might pay for two people. So if you can sorta spread that cost around a bunch of others, it starts looking quite cost effective.

      On the other hand, $67 is a BIG ask regardless of whether or not you can justify it. If its just you, then no way is there a cost benefit, and for that alone its going to fail. For me personally, I'd love the access, but its something I'd use maybe once a month, so not worth it. Most movies arent worth the cheapo Tuesday cost of the ticket alone, let alone $67.

    Thankfully the Cinema next to where I work has tickets for $8.50 so movies aren't too expensive for me these days, but even then I pretty much only go and watch the big ones, i.e. Star Wars, the Marvel movies etc.

    As someone with a home cinema, I think this is a great idea :)

    "The idea is that each movie will cost $US50 ($67), with up to $US20 ($27) going to theatres."

    Let me get this straight... I cough up $50 USD to see a move in the comfort of my own home, $20 USD of which is going to subsidise the cinemas that I have no interest in going to. So, in effect, I'm being fined $20 USD for not going to the cinema?

    Yeah... think I might just wait for the home video release thanks. I can save $20-30 and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I'm not helping to prop up the cinema industry's failing business model.

      Or you could pay $21 for an adult at Hoyts, x2 = $42. Throw in inconveniences like time scheduling, public transport effort or parking. If you buy food/drink it would easily get you to the $60 mark.

      Not saying I agree with this model but it does work in some scenarios. If there's 3+ people in a family who want to legally watch a pixar movie or whatever on day 1 then this would work out much cheaper/easier than shlepping to the cinema.

        Yeah I was going to say the same thing.
        For a family this would workout cheaper and be more convinent.
        Although my local has $12 tickets so in my case it would be cheaper to go to the cinema.

        I am an Adult (by age only) and have not paid $21 for a movie ticket ever. There is tight arse Tuesday plus a myriad of services (i.e. private health, car insurance etc etc) that provide cheap movie tickets.

        I do agree however that this method is useful for a large group of people to see the movie at home essentially offsetting high cost by having more bums on seats. As a single person or couple the price may be a little too high to capture the market.

      if you have 3+ people in the household its actually works out to be cheaper :)

        I really fail to see how having three or more people in a home reduces the cost of a home release movie. In my experience the purchase of home release video doesn't change based on household size. A $50 home video product is always going to be $20-30 more expensive than a $20-30 home video product.

          67 per movie not per person on a release date vs 25 per heat in cinemas vs ~30 for BR when it released 2-3 month later

          note: if you are after blue ray option you are probably not on a market for cinema visit anyway

            Why not? I buy movies on Blu-Ray that I've already seen at the cinema all the time.

              I think ppl starting to troll...
              1 movie per household for 3 people (watch at home) = $67
              1 movie per house hold 3 people (got to cinema) = $25 x 3 = $75

                haha yeah its not rocket surgery I got what you meant from the first comment

                Who pays full price for movie tickets? If people are paying full price for movie tickets they probably think the 67 is great value.

                I can get adult movie tickets for 12 dollars, easily, without any trickery. That's 5 adults that can go to the movies for 60 bucks. The 24 hour window to see the window isn't a selling point for me, and as much as I like my 55" TV and Speakers, it's not even a comparison to the cinemas screen and sound system.

                The only way I'd sign up to an at home, new release streaming service for movies, is if it were 50 dollars a month and I got 4 movies per month. Until then I'll just continue going to the cinemas.

    Great for Pirates. How hard would it be to record the stream and have a perfect copy on the web hours after its release...?

      Zero hard. Just look at PPV sports/fights etc.

    Suppose you have a nice TV and audio system at home, you invite over 6 friends. ends up being $10 per person. As long as you're watching it with a bunch of friends the price is reasonable.

    I think I'm for this idea.
    We've always had Cinema first, then later dvd/bluray at fairly regular price (often dvd's in the area of $30), and then over the following months lowering in price.

    The system already works such that if you must see it immediately, you go to the cinema. If you can wait a while, pick up the $30 dvd on release (the cinema people may also require this if the movie was good enough). If you can wait longer, wait until it drops to $10 - $15.
    The system always worked on things getting cheaper over time. This proposal just extrapolates back to the day of cinema release.
    I won't use it mind you, but I can see some sense in it.

      Exactly, it's not stopping people from enjoying the movie exactly as they do already, but for early adopters with a nice home set up this makes heaps of sense.

      I have a 120" home cinema and would happily pay this for the 3-4 movies a year I'm really excited about and the others I'll catch once the blurays are released.

    I'll give them five dollars but not a cent more. After all, I'm only watching the movie once. Compare that to a song that I buy for 2 dollars that I will listen to hundreds of times.

      A song lasts three or four minutes, a film two or three hours. A song is two channel audio only, a film is 5.1 or 7.1 audio plus vision. If you can't see the value, there is something seriously wrong with you. And that's before you look at the cost of making a film over the cost of producing a song.

        I could hire latest release titles for 5 dollars from blockbuster. Why should I pay anymore for a digital release.???

    I read this as "Hollywood directors are each given the challenge of making a feature release on a set budget of $67". Now that's something I'd want to see - the Swede challenge. Like MTV unplugged for big names.

    Couldn't agree more. The first movie I'd seen at the cinema in ages was Star Wars and I remembered why I hate going to the movies: other people. I bravely then went to see Deadpool with my girl and a mate a few weeks later, the tickets online were $20 each and we easily spent the remainder on popcorn and a drink so I'd probably stump up the $67 for the odd movie I really wanted to see upon release to avoid dealing with the public.

      And I'm sure the public would be happy to chip in, just so they don't have to put up with you.

      Why do you feel this way about other people? did you have a childhood trauma? Maybe you should see a therapist about your phobia.

        Nothing wrong with wanting to see something privately. Hence why piracy is so popular. People just dont want to deal with plebs.

          I was just giving him crap about saying his problem was other people and not elaborating on that point, it seems as though he has some hostility towards his fellow man. The fact you call them plebs makes me think you feel superior to others as well. What makes someone else a pleb and not you? You're no better or worse than me or anyone else.

            I prefer to just see a movie without having to deal with others, Seeing a movie is "Me" time for me, Nothing wrong with that. Its why i always tend to go to the late sessions, When its usually just me by myself or 1 or 2 other people. No kids, No teenagers, Pure paradise.

            Last edited 17/03/16 3:06 am

              Thats fair enough, you're not making comment that you "bravely" went and saw a movie around "other people" like its something to be scared of. Personally one of the reasons I like going to the occasional movie rather than just watch every thing at home is to get out of the house and interact. The irony of the modern age is that even though we're more connected than ever with social media and yet most people would be lucky to know who their neighbours are and fear the thought of interacting with strangers. Most people seem to think they're better than everyone else.

                But if you use your phone or talk in the cinema during a film, I am better than you =)

                Badger: You think you're better than other people!
                Mal: Just the ones I'm better than.

                Last edited 17/03/16 12:36 pm

                  I just watch stuff at vmax with atmos. Talk all you want I won't hear you.

    So they want me to pay extra to watch a movie at the cinemas AND watch ads for the first 30 minutes?
    Fuck off.

    It already costs me well over $100 to take the wife and kids to the movies, so $67 seems totally reasonable to me.

    With a blended family of 6 along with a 30 minute drive to a very average cinema that had no discount scheme other than cheap Tuesday, $67 is a bloody bargain. Factor in your own food and a pause button. Bring it on!

    Providing this type of service in Australia for a direct $US TO $AUD conversion? Highly unlikely...

    We will be stung for $75-$90 per.

    Anyone complaining about the pricing obviously doesnt realise this service already exists, it's called Prima Cinema, the set top box cost $35,000 and the movies are $500 each for a 24 hour rental. That may sound absurd but if you're ridiculously rich and have a sweet home theatre setup (their market audience for this product) than you'd happily fork over the money to enjoy movies as soon as they're released.

    This service would allow the rest of us to enjoy the same service. I'm not short of a few bucks but certainly not in the position to justify Prima. To me this is an awesome idea and hope it takes off. If its too expensive for you than continue not using the service just as you havent been using Prima.

    Well If my wife and I go to Chermside on Saturday night. It costs about $55 in tix price $30 dollars for food and up to $80 (20 per hour) for a babysitter. So $67 seems a good deal to me.

    Last edited 17/03/16 3:26 pm

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