Golden Globes: From Jeff Bezos to Jennifer Aniston, How the Heavyweights Partied (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The Golden Globes had plenty of celebrities. Forget about them. Here’s how the buyers, bosses, and bigshots who make decisions about their careers celebrated the Golden Globes.

A summit between prestige TV and a titan of our era (who also does prestige TV) as HBO’s Richard Plepler and Jeff Bezos linked up on the floor of the Golden Globes ceremony.

Ted Sarandos’s Netflix also fights in the prestige TV heavyweight division. Jennifer Aniston joined “big red’s” party at the Waldorf Astoria after the show.

I caught NBC Entertainment Chiefs Bob Greenblatt and Jennifer Salke taking a selfie together on the red carpet. I ask them if we are going to be doing the Golden Globes this early next year, which would be January 6, 2019. “We don’t know yet,” Salke says. “Good question, good question,” Greenblatt added. Stay tuned.

Also Read: Ratings: NBC’s Golden Globes Tackled By Fox Football – For Now

Universal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer embraces Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara at the AFI Awards luncheon on Friday, Jan. 5. Meyer’s Focus Features would net one Globe via Gary Oldman’s performance in  “Darkest Hour.”

Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley (left) and “Darkest Hour” director Joe Wright celebrated the film at an intimate gathering at the Chateau Marmont on Friday night before the show Leonardo DiCaprio hosted the event.

Across the street on Sunset, Showtime President and CEO David Nevins hosted a Globes-eve mixer for their nominees.

The hopefuls included William H. Macy, Frankie Shaw, and Kyle MacLachlan, who was nominated for “Twin Peaks” 27 years after he won for the same role back in 1991.

Leslie Moonves (left) accepted The Party Report’s congratulations on the big return of CBS’ “The Amazing Race” at Lynn Hischberg (center) and W Magazine’s  ‘Best Performances’ party at the Chateau Marmont. “It’s back and the numbers were great,” Moonves said before ducking out with his wife and CBS star Julie Chen.

TheWrap’s Founder and Editor In Chief Sharon Waxman poses with ICM Partners Managing Partner Chris Silbermann at the agency’s first ever Globes-eve party at Poppy.

On that same night across town at Milk Studios, serial entrepreneur Sean Parker and his wife Alexandra (far right) co-hosted Sean Penn’s J/P HRO gala. Emilia Clarke was one of the featured guests.

AFI alum and “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins pinch hit for Cicely Tyson by giving the closing toast at Friday’s AFI Awards when weather grounded Tyson on the east coast.   Here, she shows off her certificate with American Film Institute president and CEO Bob Gazzale.

After the Globes on Sunday night, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Creator/Executive Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino lent her trophy to Amazon Studios’ Head of Casting, Donna Rosenstein.

Quietly lost in the tenor of the Globes telecast was Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Meher Tatna’s on-stage announcement that the org would be donating $2 million to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Committee To Protect Journalists. Here, Tatna poses with HBO’s talent and publicity wizard, Nancy Lesser.

Brian Lourd, MacKenzie Bezos and Jeff Bezos chat at Milk Studios for Sean Penn’s event on Saturday night. CAA was one of the sponsors.

Sarandos, Netflix’s VP of Original Series Cindy Holland, and Jason Bateman have done many of these awards show nights together over the past few years.

On an other point of the streaming tech giant triopoly, Amazon recruited Mark and Samantha Ronson to play its post-show bash. Attendees included Matt Damon, Amazon Studios’ Head of Motion Pictures Jason Ropell, Head of Amazon Studios Albert Cheng, and  Senior Vice President Jeff Blackburn.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” producers Warren Littlefield and Bruce Miller, scarily good actress Ann Dowd, Hulu SVP of Content Craig Erwich, and Hulu Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman enjoyed the drama’s second straight awards show victory night.  Season two arrives in April.

The night before, Miller was the guest of honor at ICM’s party. Here, he’s flanked by  agent Hrishi Desai, ICM Founding Partner Ted Chervin, and Chris von Goetz.

“Fargo” Executive Producer John Cameron, EP/Writer/Showrunner/Director Noah Hawley, David Thewlis, and Ewan McGregor finally got a much deserved win for season three at the Globes.  Without the sickening sneer, the villainous Thewlis is barely recognizable.Executive Party Report: How the ‘Industry’ Did Globes Weekend (Photos)

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Plaxo, Comcast’s Early Social Network, Logs Off

Read on: Deadline.

Plaxo, a digital address-book organizer that presaged social networking in the early 2000s, has been shut down by Comcast.
In a message on its home page, Plaxo bid a straightforward farewell, saying no new accounts can be created and service will wind down on Dec. 31. Consumer data will be purged beginning on Jan. 1, 2018. “Thank you for subscribing to Plaxo,” it read. “We appreciate the support you have given us over the years and we wish you all the best.”
Comcast…

Sean Parker Slams Facebook for ‘Exploiting a Vulnerability in Human Psychology’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Sean Parker, the former president of Facebook, slammed the creators of the ubiquitous social media giant for knowingly “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’” Parker told Axios’ Mike Allen in an interview on Wednesday.

“That means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever,” he said. “And that’s going to get you to contribute more content. … It’s a social-validation feedback loop.”

Also Read: First Amendment Coalition Head to Twitter, Facebook: ‘Stop Acting Like You Are Just a Stage’ (Video)

Tellingly, Parker said that Mark Zuckerberg and other social-media pioneers were aware of this phenomenon from the outset. “The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark, it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously,” he said. “And we did it anyway.”

Also Read: Mark Zuckerberg Vows to Stop Russian Facebook Trolls: ‘I Am Dead Serious About This’

Not all of the effects of creating giant social networks were conscious, Parker admitted, noting the “unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people.”

“It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” said Parker, who now chairs the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. “It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

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EOne CEO Backs Same-Day Home Release of New Movies: ‘The Concept of Waiting Is Outdated’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Shortening the theatrical release window of films has been a hotly-debated topic in Hollywood for nearly two years now, and eOne CEO Darren Throop is backing the same-day home release of these movies because he believes “the concept of waiting for something is a little outdated.”

“I personally believe that we need to shorten windows and give people the ability to enjoy the films wherever they want to enjoy them,” Throop said at TheWrap’s annual media conference, TheGrill, on Tuesday. “There’s an awareness for it. Three months later, there won’t be because there is so much content. [I believe] we should have day-and-date with dynamic pricing. If the consumer wants to watch it at home, let them watch it home.”

Last year, Napster co-founder Sean Parker was trying to disrupt the movie industry with Screening Room, a service that aimed to offer new movies in the home for $50 on the same day they hit theaters. Parker had enlisted the support of nearly a dozen industry heavyweights, including directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, but most exhibitors remained opposed to the idea, and studios weren’t quite sure what to make of it given their different business models.

Also Read: Fox Boss Dana Walden Addresses Sexual Misconduct Scandals: ‘Our Organization Is Changing’

Parker maintains the company remains active and there have been strides, but there’s been no product actually released on the market. But Throop says there should be an even higher bar than a $50 price tag.

“[I’d say] even more than that and let the consumer decide where they want to watch the movies,” Throop added. “Everything else is day-and-date — music is day-and-date, television is day-and- date, etc… Everything is instant, so the concept of waiting for something is a little outdated.”

While Nina Jacobson, executive producer at Color Force and a producer on the “Hunger Games” series as well as “American Crime Story,” understands the notion of having the option to watch a movie wherever the consumer sees fit, she doesn’t think that model works for her upcoming film, “Crazy Rich Asians.”

“It was an interesting conversation, but for us ultimately, it felt like this is a cultural event,” Jacobson said. “When something comes out digitally, everyone is watching it when they’re watching it … It can come and go. People aren’t seeing it at the same time — they see it when they come around to it. But your point is: there is room for both. You can choose.”

Throop agreed, saying there is room for a combination of theatrical and dynamic pricing, which would ultimately make independent producers, filmmakers and creative talent a lot more money.

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“It’s important for the industry,” he explained. “We need to keep in step of what the consumers want. The consumer always decides.”

The idea of windowing and day-and-date release has been a hotly debated topic in Hollywood. Screening Room, for example, proposed that consumers watch new movies over a 48-hour window beginning the day of its theatrical release via a set-top box that would cost roughly $150. According to the proposal, theater owners and studios would collect as much as $20 each of the $50 fee for a new movie. Yet, it’s unclear how it would benefit theaters given their reliance on concessions sales. And that’s where the divide currently lies. Exhibitors believe that Screening Room will encourage people to stay at home rather than head out to theaters.

Other studios have been dabbling with day-and-date releases. Paramount, for example, tried the shortened window with “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” and “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” in 2015. The films were eligible to be released on home entertainment platforms 17 days after they dipped below 300 domestic theaters. Typically, home consumers have to wait three months after a film opens theatrically before it’s available via video on demand or streaming.

Netflix also tried it with releasing “Beasts of No Nation” on their streaming platform the same day it opened in limited theaters all over the country. The film eventually didn’t hit its box office goal and ran out of steam with its awards run — so one can argue the day-and-date release model has not yet arrived.

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Sean Parker’s Screening Room Returns to CinemaCon With ‘Refined’ Security Plan for Movies at Home (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The Screening Room — Sean Parker’s proposed day-and-date film service that had Hollywood buzzing a year ago and then promptly disappeared — is finally taking shape, an individual close to the company told TheWrap.

Co-founder and CEO Prem Akkaraju has spent the past year nailing down security protocols to address concerns that the service would be vulnerable to piracy, the insider said, and the company will attend CinemaCon next week to meet with studio heads and movie exhibitors to explore distribution deals.

The “refined” security measures are the most evolved part of the product, the individual added — which was reported to involve a set-top device that would put new releases in consumer homes the same day they hit theaters, for a per-movie fee targeted around $50.

Also Read: Big Studios Consider the Unthinkable: Home Viewing of Movies Two Weeks After They Hit Theaters

Both men are expected to hit the convention floor at Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace this year, the insider said.

In 2016, Akkaraju attended CinemaCon solo while Parker took first-look meetings in Los Angeles and New York with major players like Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox and mini-majors like The Weinstein Company.

A major question at last year’s convention and in the industry at large was how Parker and Akkaraju intended to protect studio intellectual property. Not to mention the blunt annoyance felt by studios and filmmakers that a third party would come between them and American theater owners, and force a conversation about evolving windows — or the lifespan of a movie in physical theaters before it hits streaming, VOD, digital download and the ever-declining DVD market.

Also Read: Netflix: No Interest in Buying Paramount, But Screening Room Sounds ‘Great’

The Screening Room does count A-list champions and stakeholders including Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, J.J. Abrams, Peter Jackson and more. The company also retains high-powered attorney Skip Brittenham and has a senior advisor in former Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Jeff Blake.

While many blasted the idea of eliminating the theatrical window altogether, industry veterans have become increasingly focused on evolving traditional rollout of movies across different platforms.

“For a business not to be able to sell what it makes for a period of time is anachronistic,” Fox Film chief Stacey Snider said at February’s Code Media conference.

“Most of the big films, even the blockbusters, have done 90 percent of their business in the first three to four weeks,” she continued. “Who is it helping [by] not to offer premium video on demand earlier? Who is it hurting?”

It will be interesting to see whether studios would consider working with a third party like Screening Room — and some studios may be better positioned to explore their own path to more immediate home viewing. Universal Pictures is owned by the cable giant Comcast, while Warner Bros. films could be streamed through DirecTV if the studio completes its merger with AT&T.

Also Read: Why Sean Parker’s Screening Room Plan to Home-Stream New Movies for $50 Is Absurd (Guest Blog)

While Screening Room’s business model does allocate a portion of the $50 fee would go to theater owners, the logistics of dividing that payment seem complicated.

Exhibitors have taken a chilly view on the proposal. “Movie theater operators … will individually decide what business models work for movie theater operators,” a spokesperson for the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) said last March.

“More sophisticated window modeling may be needed for the growing success of a modern movie industry. Those models should be developed by distributors and exhibitors in company-to-company discussions, not by a third party.”

CinemaCon runs from March 27-30, and will feature slate presentations from the major studios as well as STX, Focus Features and Amazon.

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Big Studios Consider the Unthinkable: Home Viewing of Movies Two Weeks After They Hit Theaters

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Major Hollywood studios are considering offering movies to home viewers in as little as two weeks after they hit cinemas in the latest sign that major changes could be in store for the theatrical window.

Bloomberg, which first reported the news, cited studio insiders who said the films will be priced between $25 and $50 for home viewers, a figure TheWrap has also learned is accurate, based on early conversations — and a premium over both movie tickets and video-on-demand rates.

Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara hinted at changes in the windowing process at an investor conference in Arizona on Tuesday, saying the studio was working with cinema chains to change the windowing process — but was prepared to do something either way.

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“We’re working with them to try and create a new window,” Tsujihara said at the conference. “But regardless of whether it happens or not – whether we are able to reach that agreement with them, we have to offer consumers more choices earlier.”

A Universal spokesman told TheWrap the studio is “having discussions with exhibitors about shortening the release window.” A source close to Warner Bros. told TheWrap Tsujihara was clear about his intentions at the Arizona conference.

The fact that studios are now discussing this with theater chains directly could mean Sean Parker’s startup Screening Room — which wants to offer new theatrical releases to home viewers for $50 a pop — could be DOA, even as studios and exhibitors look to adopt a similar business model, only without the middle man.

Also Read: AMC Theatres Boss Shrugs Off Sean Parker’s Screening Room: ‘It’s Just an Idea’

Several studio execs and A-list directors like James Cameron have been highly critical of Parker’s venture. However, a studio source told TheWrap he wouldn’t declare Parker’s venture kaput quite yet.

Reps for Screening Room did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment in time for publication.

While the theatrical box office seems to have bounced back after a summer slump, a decline in the home video market has spurred the need to consider alternatives. DVD sales are down by a double-digit percentage year-over-year, and home entertainment revenue (excluding subscription services like Netflix) dipped 12 percent in the third quarter, according to a study from the Digital Entertainment Group.

That trend has incentivized studios to look for innovative ways to deliver fresh content to viewers who don’t — or can’t — go to the theater without losing their business for months while they wait for the film to clear the traditional theatrical window.

DirecTV has a Cinema Exclusives program, in which independent films are premiered exclusively on DirecTV for a short period of time — usually 30 days — ahead of their theatrical release, effectively creating a new window.

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Wanda’s China Mega-Studio Seeks Hollywood Shoots With Huge Rebate, $750 Million in Incentives

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Monday night, surrounded by a who’s who of Hollywood luminaries, the most talked-about man in entertainment announced the latest steps in his plan for world domination. And a big part of it is a rebate.

The crowd filing into the “U.S.-Sino Business Evening” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Bing Theater — which included the likes of Screening Room founder Sean Parker, Lionsgate co-chair Patrick Wachsberger, MGM CEO Gary Barber, Marvel Studios chairman Avi Arad — was greeted with a video montage featuring a dramatic classical music score highlighting Dalian Wanda Group’s of mega-malls, skyscrapers, theme parks and financial milestones.

It also laid out some of the Chinese conglomerate’s ambitions, including reaching $100 billion in revenue and $10 billion in profit by 2020, and — mindful of its Hollywood audience — underlined its green building credentials. And soon after, Wanda founder and CEO Wang Jianlin — who sat next to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — took the stage to present the next chapter in Wanda’s plans to become a global force in entertainment.

Wang announced a 40 percent rebate — jointly funded by Wanda along with certain Chinese regional governments — intended to lure Hollywood production to China. More specifically, to Wanda’s under-construction Qingdao Movie Metropolis, a 408-acre studio that will include the world’s largest indoor sound stage. He noted that the incentives will total $750 million over the course of five years.

Also Read: China’s Wanda Group CEO Heads to Hollywood With All Eyes on Him

Wanda also announced the first batch of projects that will take advantage of the offering and shoot in Qingdao. “Pacific Rim 2,” produced by Wanda-owned Legendary Entertainment will be the first movie to shoot at the park when cameras roll later this month. Legendary’s “Godzilla” will also be shot there.

Lionsgate, along with China Media Capital-backed Infinity Pictures, Arad Productions, Arclight Films, Kylin Pictures, Base Media, Beijing Dirty Monkey Culture Industry Development and Juben Pictures have also agreed to shoot upcoming films at the $8.2 billion studio complex.

Wang repeatedly framed Qingdao Movie Metropolis as something that would complement Hollywood, not take business away from it.

Also Read: Sony Pictures, Dalian Wanda Group to Set Strategic Film Alliance

“This is an opportunity for Hollywood,” he said. “This is not a competition for Hollywood.”

He also provided details on the 40 percent rebate plan, which would be one of the world’s most generous. It’s being underwritten by the Qingdao regional governments in partnership with Wanda — the first time a private company has directly bankrolled an incentive plan like this.

Wanda has had an eventful 2016, beginning with its $3.5 billion purchase of Legendary Entertainment, a bout of theme park brinkmanship with Disney in June, and ongoing talks to acquire Dick Clark Productions for $1 billion. Wanda’s AMC Theaters is also in discussions to acquire Carmike Cinemas, making it North America’s largest exhibitor.

The conglomerate is on pace to spend $30 billion on deals this year — half in sports and entertainment. And last month, Wang confirmed his long-rumored desire to buy a major studio, telling CNN he’s interested in buying at least 50 percent of one of the “Big Six.”

Also Read: Why DC Started Caring About Dalian Wanda Group and China in Hollywood

And while Wanda has been scooping up entertainment assets since buying AMC Theaters back in 2012, Washington has recently taken notice. In a three-day span earlier this month, two separate government agencies were asked to take a closer look at Wanda’s entertainment dealings, and the Washington Post published an acerbic editorial warning that “China could seek to spread pro-regime propaganda via ownership of U.S. entertainment media.”

With that backdrop, Wang decided to tone down his trademark bombast — he’s previously boasted about Wanda’s theme parks and said Disney “really shouldn’t have come to China” on state-run TV. On Monday, he adopted a more conciliatory tone, viewing Hollywood as partners, not opponents to be vanquished. However, he did state that adding Chinese cultural elements in movies makes good business sense, as China is on pace to have the world’s largest box office as soon as next year.

“From a business perspective, just look at the best way to make money,” Wang advised. “Don’t make it a political issue.”

Also Read: Lawmaker Wants DOJ to Probe Dalian Wanda’s Hollywood Acquisitions

Wang said the best way for Hollywood to capitalize on that under-tapped market is to add “Chinese cultural elements” to blockbusters. “How do you add those elements?” he asked. “You can figure it out.”

Wang was preceded on stage by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Boone Isaacs said Hollywood benefits from “cross-pollination” between American filmmakers and international partners.

“We’re not growing if we aren’t gaining new perspective,” she said. “And China is a wonderful land in which to explore new horizons.”

Also Read: U.S. Government Agency Will Review Dalian Wanda, Chinese Investment in Hollywood … Eventually

Boone Isaacs also announced the naming of the Wanda Library at the Academy’s museum, currently under construction.

“Simply put, Wanda has the potential to create an unprecedented bridge between the American and Chinese movie communities,” she said, citing its ability to help U.S. filmmakers wade through “political and cultural challenges” in China.

Garcetti took the stage next — to the “Indiana Jones” theme. “Dalian Wanda has been an exceptional friend to Los Angeles,” the mayor said, mentioning the company’s significant local real estate developments — such as a condominium and hotel project in Beverly Hills — and “the investments you are now making in our signature industry, the entertainment industry.”

Garcetti said he wanted to welcome companies like Wanda — even as Wang comes to town to explicitly try to recruit filming elsewhere.

Wang argued that the Qingdao park wouldn’t directly pull production from Hollywood, but from other foreign destinations that have recently become popular filming spots, such as Australia. And while Garcetti reiterated that he would be “strong in promoting Los Angeles as a place to film.”

Also Read: TheGrill 2016: Michael Lynton Says Sony Will Not Be Sold to China’s Wanda — Or Anyone Else

Despite all the talk about working together, Wang couldn’t resist needling Hollywood a little bit, such as when he talked about the behind-the-camera jobs his new studio will create.

“Qingdao Movie Metropolis will increase a lot of employment opportunities for technical people in Hollywood,” Wang said. “They might even make more money at Qingdao Movie Metropolis.”

He also took a bit of a shot at what he perceived is the over-reliance of blockbusters on special effects rather than storytelling.

“From a Chinese perspective, Hollywood is the professor and Chinese filmmakers are the students,” he said. “How do you tell the teacher to increase their quality?”

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: ‘Theaters Are Strangling the Movie Business’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believes that the TV business is making strides in the right direction, but he won’t say the same about the movie business — and he thinks that theater owners are to blame.

“Movie theaters are strangling the movie business. There’s been no innovation in the movie business in the last 50 years,” Hastings told the New Yorker at the magazine’s TechFest event on Friday, according to Fortune.

He told New Yorker editor David Remnick that studios want to experiment with the idea of distributing movies directly to the consumers and “break the oligopoly,” but that would cause an uproar among cinema owners.

Also Read: NATO President Calls Screening Room a ‘Distraction’ — But MPAA Will Meet With Sean Parker

Theatrical distribution drives a substantial amount of revenue to movie studios, but Hastings added that it can be more profitable and efficient for movies to be distributed in cinemas and on other platforms simultaneously. Earlier this week, Netflix signed a deal with iPic Entertainment that would allow the theater chain to screen 10 movies simultaneously with their release online.

The National Association of Theatre Owners, however, expressed skepticism over the deal, warning that the distribution plan would significantly reduce revenue.

“Simultaneous release, in practice, has reduced both theatrical and home revenues when it has been tried,” NATO president and CEO John Fithian said in a statement on Wednesday.

Also Read: NATO Chief Rips Netflix, iPic Deal to Screen and Stream Movies Simultaneously

Day-and-date releases have become more common in the industry, and they’re a hot-button issue for the major exhibitors. For example, Sony released “The Interview” in theaters and online at the same time back in 2014. Paramount experimented with shortening the time that movie theaters have exclusive rights to first-run films with “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” and “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.”

Napster founder Sean Parker mentioned a plan to offer first-run movies for home viewing for $50 on the same day that they hit theaters via his Screening Room startup.

According to Bloomberg, Hastings said Netflix’s chances of entering the Chinese market don’t “look good” because China doesn’t offer streaming video services.

“We’re focused on the rest of the world,” Hastings said. “Disney, who is very good in China, had their movie service shut down. Apple, who is very good in China, had their movie service closed down. It doesn’t look good.”

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