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James Cameron, Jon Landau Slam Screening Room Home Video Proposal

James Cameron and Jon Landau have declared early opposition against the Screening Room proposal that would allow day-and-date showings at home when studio films are released in theaters.

Landau told Variety that he and Cameron believe that the initial release of films should take place only in theaters.

“We know that this proposal is at the early stage and we have an obligation to speak out publicly against it,” he added.

Early supporters of the Screening Room include Peter Jackson, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Frank Marshall, Taylor Hackford, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Variety first reported last week that Sean Parker had originated the proposal, which would offer new releases in the home for $50 per 48-hour view.

Opposition has come from the National Assn. of Theater Owners and the Art House Convergence.

“Both Jim and I remain committed to the sanctity of the in-theater experience,” Landau said. “For us, from both a creative and financial standpoint, it is essential for movies to be offered exclusively in theaters for their initial release. We don’t understand why the industry would want to provide audiences an incentive to skip the best form to experience the art that we work so hard to create.”

Landau and Cameron are the producers of “Titanic” and “Avatar” — the two highest-grossing films ever made, with combined worldwide box office of about $5 billion. They are working on a trilogy of “Avatar” sequels.

Both received a best picture Oscar for “Titanic.”

“To us, the in-theater experience is the wellspring that drives our entire business, regardless of what other platforms we eventually play on and should eventually play on,” Landau said. “No one is against playing in the home, but there is a sequencing of events that leads to it.”

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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