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Will Napster Founder's
Screening Room Blitz Hollywood?

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Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster.
Photos associated with this story are by WikiWidtch and LeWeb14. Used under the terms of Creative Commons licenses 2.0 and 3.0.
Napster Creator And Former Facebook President Sean Parker Challenges The Movie Theater Ticket Model, Batman V Superman, Lego Batman And More

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By Ryan Scott
Modern Times Magazine

April 1, 2016 — Greetings, movie lovers! Did you miss the major news and headlines from this week in film? Don’t you worry, because we’ve got you covered with the newest edition of the Movie News Mixtape. Let’s Dig In, shall we?

In recent years, Netflix and Amazon exclusives, video on demand and good old fashioned piracy, it has been a little bit more difficult to get people out of their homes and into the theater. That is partially why there are so many “event” films being made. Anyway, Sean Parker — yes, the guy who created Napster and owns a chunk of Facebook — wants to turn the movie business on its head now.

If you haven’t already heard, his new video on demand service, The Screening Room, would allow people to stream new movies the same day that they are available in theaters for a fee. That may sound great, but the service requires a $150 streaming box and each movie will cost $50, which users will be able to stream for 48 hours.

As one might imagine, this proposed service has been very divisive up to this point. Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have publicly backed the idea while others like James Cameron and the entire Disney corporation have denounced it. Parker would likely point out that the music industry reacted similarly to Napster in the early days. However, unlike Napster, The Screening Room actually requires users to pony up some serious cash.

The real question is, would you pay $50 to watch Avengers: Infinity War in the comfort of your own home? Or, would you rather have your usual overpriced popcorn, sticky feet experience?

Theater chains are obviously the most concerned about this prospect as movie studios would very likely make their money back no matter how people are paying to see the films. In any case, both exhibitors and movie studios have to sign off on the idea to make it a reality. The Screening Room will get a chance to sway the industry at the upcoming CinemaCon in Las Vegas this April.

Trailer Tracker: A Better Batman Is On The Way In The Form Of LEGO And Scary Stuff

The LEGO Batman Movie - No matter how people felt about Battfleck, Warner Bros. had an ace up its sleeve in the form of not one but two trailers for the upcoming The LEGO Batman Movie. If The LEGO Movie was any indication, this should be a bit more of a critical success. You can watch both trailers now, but you can’t see the movie until next summer.





The Jungle Book - Though it is not technically a trailer, Disney has released a little clip from The Jungle Book that showcases Bill Murray as Baloo. Jon Favreau’s live action adaptation of the classic book is due in theaters April 15.



Alice Through The Looking Glass - As a reminder that Disney owns everything that you love, the studio has also released a new full-length trailer for the Alice In Wonderland sequel, Alice Through The Looking Glass. Tim Burton is only on as a producer this time though and it will be Alan Rickman’s very last time on the silver screen. Look for it in theaters May 27.



The Conjuring 2 - James Wan took to Wondercon in order to prove why he is everyone’s favorite maker of horror related things. To start, he brought with him the full-length trailer for the upcoming Conjuring sequel, which at this point might be one of the if not the most anticipated horror sequel of all time. Look for it in theaters in June 10 and watch the trailer, should you dare.



Lights Out - Wan can’t direct everything, so instead he produces lots of other horror-related projects. One of those films just got a fancy new trailer. Lights Out is based on the very famous Internet short of the same name. David F. Sandberg, who directed the short, is back at the helm for the full-length feature. Look for it in theaters on July 22.



Things We Learned: The World Lost A Comedy Legend And the Batman V Superman Effect Begins

RIP Garry Shandling - Sadly, comedy legend Garry Shandling passed away of a sudden heart attack at the age of 66. The creator of The Larry Sanders Show was a tremendous influence on modern television and had been playing a smaller role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. RIP, Mr. Shandling, you will be dearly missed.

Lex Luthor Deleted Scene - Batman V Superman may have broke the bank out of the gate in its first week (more on that in a bit), but Warner Bros. is definitely concerned about the attendance drop off that occurred following the release thanks to mixed word of mouth. So, the studio released this expensive looking deleted scene featuring Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor.



Battfleck Solo Film - Though the BvS reviews have been mixed, Ben Affleck’s performance has received generally positive reactions, and the rumors surrounding his solo Batman film seem to be firming up. As it turns out, Affleck has reportedly already written the film. Now that his directing obligations are solidified as well, he may well be taking on the triple threat role as writer, director and star for the next Warner Bros. Batman outing.

Goodby Gambit Movie? - Director Doug Liman has moved on, at least for now, from the long gestating Channing Tatum Gambit movie over at Fox. As of right now, the film is delayed but the buzz around Hollywood is that it has been flat out cancelled for the time being.

God Particle - JJ Abrams is currently producing another sci-fi flick entitled God Particle that will star Selma standout David Oyelowo and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Rumors are already swirling that this space adventure film is in the Cloverfield universe, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Suicide Squad Reshoots - The biggest complaint about Batman V Superman thus far has been the insanely dark tone. So, Warner Bros. is reportedly giving David Ayer and the rest of the Suicide Squad gang a ton of money for reshoots to make the film a little more light, ala Guardians of the Galaxy.

Box Office Review/Preview and Predictions

Last week was all Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and this week won’t be much different. The film made $166 million domestically in its first weekend and has already made more than $500 million worldwide. However, the film had a major slip from Friday to Sunday thanks to less than favorable word of mouth. So, it will be number one for sure this week, but the real question is how big will the slip be?

The week’s new offerings are more like placeholder counter offerings that aren’t really competing for the same audience as the DC blockbuster. God’s Not Dead 2 will pick up where Miracles From Heaven just left off, and Everybody Wants Some, while reviewed very positively, probably won’t make a huge splash.

Weekend Box Office Predictions

  • Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Zootopia
  • God’s Not Dead 2
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  • The Divergent Series: Allegiant

That’s it for this week, movie lovers. Be sure to come back next week for all of the Hollywood news you need, want and didn’t know you needed.

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