×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Screening Room Study: Interest Is High, But Price Is a Problem

Consumers are interested in paying to watch theatrical releases in their home, but there is a hard cap on how much money they are willing to shell out to check out new releases from their couch, according to a new study by MarketCast.

The report from the tracking and research service represents the first public study on the popular appeal of Screening Room, the new start-up that wants to offer movies in the home the same day they debut on big screens. The study, released Wednesday at CinemaCon, did not mention Screening Room by name.

Screening Room is the brainchild of Sean Parker (pictured above) and Prem Akkaraju. It wants to offer movies for rental for $50, plans to share profits with theater owners and studios and has attracted the support of filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Peter Jackson, but studios and filmmakers such as Todd Phillips have blasted the proposal.

One in four consumers said they would “definitely pay to use” that kind of a service, but some balked at the proposed $50 price tag. On average, interested consumers said they would spend a maximum of $35 to rent a new movie at home.

“Sticker shock is playing a big role,” study author and MarketCast VP Chris Rethore said.

Rethore said the most revealing aspect of the study was its finding that interest in Screening Room was highest among avid moviegoers and older parents. He also warned that using the service would not necessarily lead to more overall revenues for the movie business.

“Interest in a new premium VOD service was concentrated among those who are the most active in the category,” he noted.

“These consumers — especially parents — are more aware of the fully loaded costs of moviegoing and have additional incentives to want early access to some films at home. But these consumers are also hugely important to the economics of the current theatrical model, and most see this service as displacing existing moviegoing behavior – not expanding their paid consumption of entertainment content overall.”

There were other drawbacks beyond sticker shock. One in three respondents said they would “definitely not” pay to use the service, both because of the cost and the fact that Screening Room requires customers to pay $150 to use a box that comes with anti-piracy technology. Nearly eight in 10 consumers didn’t like the idea of needing to have another set-top box style piece of equipment in their home — and more than one-third say that even if it were free, they would not want to have another set-top device in their home.

Rethore noted that the study indicated that younger parents tend to under-estimate the costs of going to the movies. The study showed that seven in 10 moviegoers estimate their average trip to the multiplex at $40 or below (inclusive of tickets, concessions, transportation/parking and/or babysitting), and as a result, fail to embrace the value of a $50 service.

The study was conducted in late March, and MarketCast surveyed 1,200 Americans between 18 and 64 to get its results.

Half of consumers “strongly agree” that they like the experience of going to the movie theater, and that the new service will not be able to replace that. “This finding held whether or not the film in question was a big budget action-genre title (only 21% would choose to watch through a premium VOD service) or a less spectacle-driven arthouse film (20%),” MarketCast added.

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