UPDATED: Chris Dodd, chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, said he has been asked to sit down with the creators of Screening Room and is ready to do so, though he insisted any decisions about support of the day-and-date release of films to customers in their homes will be left to individual studios.

“They have asked to sit down and say hello,” Dodd said at a press conference Tuesday, following his address to film exhibitors at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Asked whether he had any specific questions for creators of the upstart service, Dodd responded: “I would like to hear what they have to say. I don’t really have any questions for them.”

The MPAA chief was addressing the proposal by tech innovator Sean Parker and his partners to release films into customers’ homes on the same day as their theatrical release, for a proposed $50 a crack. The program would cut both studios and theatrical distribution companies in on the deal.

Dodd said studios have been willing to discuss changing patterns in the release of films for years, noting that movies used to have theatrical runs of up to a year. “It’s not for lack of appetite on the part of the studios and the companies to want to have more viewers of their content,” Dodd said. “But they do believe … that theatrical distribution is still the preferable format to see their content.”

“I strongly believe that content creators ought to have some voice in how they want their content seen,” Dodd added. “The fact is, they are creating the films for exhibition in a large theater with sound and so forth it, [so] it ought to be largely their decision. … That is not to say there might not be other means that could be used in the post theatrical experience.”

The former U.S. senator noted that only two of 10 films make money with theatrical release dollars alone, a figure that climbs to four of 10 films with ancillary markets thrown in. That makes filmmakers willing to explore other opportunities, he said.

John Fithian, chief executive of the National Assn. of Theater Owners, staked out a more aggressive stance in favor of film studios and exhibitors deciding for themselves about what steps to take next in altering film windows.

“It’s not for a third party to decide that and until most of Chris’ members decide to support a model like this, and most of my members decide [to support] a model like this, it’s not an issue, right? It’s a theory,” said Fithian, whose organization sponsors the confab this week in Las Vegas. “It’s up to the distributors and exhibitors to decide the future of windows.”

Fithian called the Screening Room debate “a huge distraction from this week” during the confab for studios and exhibitors. “We have hugely positive business to talk about,” Fithian said. “We’ve got innovations and things to talk about. A lot of things to talk about this week. I view this whole Screening Room debate as a big distraction from the purpose of this week.”

Fithian said he did not mean to suggest that theater owners would never consider alternative release patterns for films. “This is not some static thing. It’s not a one size fits all answer,” he said. “We very much realize, and our members more importantly realize, that in a modern world we have to be talking about having more sophisticated models.”