Famed "Avatar" director James Cameron is not a fan of Screening Room, a start-up that plans to offer a controversial device capable of on-demand, in-home streaming of films the same day of their theater release.
Deadline reported the Academy Award winner's comment to the technology during 20th Century Fox's CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas.
“Our jobs as filmmakers is to keep making films on screen. We’ll continue to make this industry the greatest show on earth. My producer Jon Landau and I are committed to the theater experience. Despite what the folks at the Screening Room say, I think movies need to be offered in the theater on opening day. So boom.”
The idea behind Screening Room is to offer consumers a $150 device providing streaming access to movies still showing in theaters. Each film will cost $50 and give consumers a 48-hour period to view the film.
Hollywood's biggest directors are divided on Screening Room, with some saying it's an innovation and others, a threat. Variety reported that Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight,""Inception") opposed the service, along with both Cameron and veteran film producer Jon Landau.
Other directors not only support the device, but have become investors in the start up. As Variety reports, Steven Spielberg ("E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,""Jaws"), J.J. Abrams ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens,""Super 8"), Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind,""Rush"), and Peter Jackson ("Lord of the Rings,""The Hobbit") have all backed the startup, either financially or through advising on security and anti-piracy strategies.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson said the device was "inevitable," while Abrams told the site he's backing Screening Room because "I see what's happening, whether people like it or not, and the way things are evolving with piracy and digital technology."
Screening Room is a joint venture between Sean Parker, creator of Napster, and his partner Prem Akkaraju. Neither Parker nor Akkaraju have confirmed a release window for the device.