Would you like to watch Batman v Superman on its cinema release date in the comfort of your home?
Plans proposed by tech king Sean Parker to get Hollywood to allow movies to be screened in homes may make viewing this kind of movie at home possible, sources told Variety.
Parker, of Facebook and Napster and immortalized by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network, backs startup The Screening Room. In theory this could potentially bring the likes of Captain America: Civil War battle screaming into your living room. But the service is not available yet and they're not sure when it might be.
The Screening Room comes at a price: $150 for the box that transmits the movie, necessary to prevent the movie being pirated, and then $50 per view. Once a view has been purchased you'd have 48 hours to watch it.
$50 may sound a lot, but when the average movie ticket in the US is $8.52, as it was according to THR in July last year, you only need to split the fee with 4.8 friends to make each home viewing equal the cost of a normal ticket.
When the idea was proposed five years ago it was shouted down by cinemas worried the plan would lure people away. Theater attendance has been flatlining the past few years, though gross domestic box office surpassed $11 billion for the first time ever in 2015.
This time they're working to keep everyone sweet. Of the $50 viewing price, $20 would go to exhibitors, $10 would go to distributors, and only $5 would go to the pockets of The Screening Room.
The price would also include two free tickets to see the movie in a cinema to minimize the backlash from theaters about the plan; the idea being that people would still give money to cinemas through buying treats like popcorn, nachos, and sweets.
Variety claims the company is "close to finalizing a deal with AMC," and that talks with Universal, Fox, and Sony are in "initial stages." However, Disney may spark a studio civil war as they haven't showed any signs of interest so far.
Unless you own some kind of home cinema, this won't be the best way to see a film. You wouldn't be able to see the full detail on Spider-Man's new suit on a laptop screen, or even a massive television. The sound quality loss of climactic fight scenes on small speakers would be equivalent to hearing it underwater.
Families have the most to gain from this prospect. Slash Film points out that large broods can cost up to $75 on tickets alone. Those looking after handicapped relations would probably prefer to see the movie from home. But without Disney, families are unlikely to cough up the $150 box cost.
Would you pay $50 to watch new movies at home?