DENYING THE INEVITABLE
A war is raging in Hollywood—and no, I’m not referring to this weekend’s titanic throwdown between the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel. Rather, it’s a battle being waged over the future of movie distribution, and it’s been instigated by Sean Parker, the entrepreneur who rose to Silicon Valley fame as the cofounder of Napster and, later, as the initial president of Facebook. Along with partner Prem Akkaraju, Parker has forwarded an idea dubbed “the Screening Room” which will allow people to watch new movies at home on the same day they make their big-screen debuts. That proposal has led many of cinema’s biggest names, as well as the theaters themselves, to square off in a debate that, at heart, is about the delivery model that has long guided the industry.
The thing is, triumph or disaster, the Screening Room is merely another sign that the cineplex’s demise (at least as the movies’ foremost venue) is not-so-slowly approaching