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Peter Jackson doubled down on his backing of Sean Parker’s controversial Screening Room service – which plans to let consumers rent movies still in theaters from their homes for $50 – on Wednesday while at the launch party of Parker’s recently announced Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.
“It is something that I believe in and something that is going to happen. It’s inevitable,” Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter of Screening Room and its model. “What we are trying to do is not make it scary and make everyone a winner in such a way that there is no fear involved and everyone comes out of it with a positive result.”
Jackson said that, at the moment, he’s investing more time than money in Screening Room, “helping with security advice,” a reference to Screening Room’s anti-piracy technology.
The Oscar-winning director also admitted that news of Screening Room was leaked, and the company has been playing catch-up to explain itself.
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“We weren’t ready to roll it out as we were still working on it,” he told THR. “When people actually get to see it and view the presentation and hear what the security measures are, they will understand it a bit more.”
Some have speculated that Screening Room will present informally at CinemaCon in Las Vegas this week (it is not part of the official schedule).
Sean Parker and co. would have to be very convincing if they do present there. At CinemaCon, several studio heads have spoken out against Screening Room, including Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara.
“We are not going to let a third party of middlemen come between us,” Tsujihara said to a crowd of theater owners. “There are new technologies that could help our business. We’ll explore them with you together. We know the status quo is not an option, but we will meet the challenges before us as we always have.”