×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U.K. Movie Theater Owners Claim Screening Room Poses ‘Massive Risk’

LONDON — The U.K. Cinema Association, which represents British movie-theater owners, said Friday Screening Room represents “a massive risk” to the industry.

In a statement, the association said: “‘The Screening Room’ represents a massive risk to the future prosperity not only of this association’s members and their counterparts in other territories, but also of colleagues across the wider film industry.”

The organization, which represents 90% of U.K. cinema operators, added: “It is difficult to envisage how this proposal — if adopted — could do anything other than present an unprecedented opportunity for film piracy while at the same time damaging the foundations of a cinema business which remains the key driver of revenue for the entire business.”

The statement continued: “The cinema experience represents not only over 40% of total film revenues, but also generates ‘word of mouth’ marketing which benefits every other subsequent platform. This proposal would therefore inevitably lead to a loss in overall income for the film industry.

Screening Room, the brainchild of entrepreneurs Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju, offers movies for $50 at the same time as they open in theaters.

The British exhibitors’ body claimed: “There is no evidence to suggest that significant numbers of people are willing to pay £35 ($50) to watch even the biggest films at home on day of release.”

On Wednesday, U.S. exhibitors’ lobbying group the National Association of Theatre Owners dismissed the startup, while reaffirming its commitment to theatrical release windows.

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content