By Pamela McClintock and Borys Kit
One of the biggest surprises about Sean Parker’s proposed $50 home move service is the cadre of top filmmakers who are supporting the venture, including J.J. Abrams and Peter Jackson.
Now, the other side is lining up. On Tuesday, James Cameron and his producing partner Jon Landau said making movies available in the home on the same day that they hit theaters via Parker and Prem Akkaraju’s the Screening Room would be “disastrous” for theaters owners and the film business.
Christopher Nolan followed suit. “It would be hard to express the great importance of exclusive theatrical presentation to our industry more compellingly than Jon Landau and James Cameron,” Nolan said in a statement.
In 2011, the trio were among a long list of filmmakers and producers signing a letter opposing a short-lived experiment by four Hollywood studios to make titles available on DirecTV 60 days after they first opened in theaters for $29.99. Jackson was a signatory as well. This past weekend, Jackson said the Screening Room is different in that it proposes to share revenue with studios, and that it also aims to capture consumers who don’t got the movies.
Landau and Cameron, however, say it would fundamentally change viewing habits. “I’m surprised this is something that the industry in general would want to support because it is so contradictory to what we try to create for moviegoers and audiences around the world, which is that very special and unique communal experience where the lights go down and you share an experience with others,” Landau told THR.
If this happens, I personally think it would be disastrous for theaters. And if they can’t survive, then we will have no venue,“ said Landau, who spoke on behalf of himself and Cameron. "Theaters struggle as it is. We can’t succeed without content being exclusive in theaters for a certain amount of time. Getting people out of their homes is already a challenge.”