Godzilla is stampeding into movie theaters. But for select VIPs, the radioactive reptile rampages closer to home, thanks to a new luxury amenity that rolls out the Hollywood red carpet directly into mega mansions of the rich and famous.
That’s right multimillionaires—blockbuster movies are now at your velvet slipper-tips. No crowds. No paparazzi. No hassles. Just the way you want it. But hurry, membership to this elite club is virtually classified—few will get clearance.
Courtesy of Red Carpet Home Cinema, the top 1% can access first-run Hollywood movies from the comfort of their own homes—for up to $3,000 a pop. If your head just exploded, you’re not the target audience for this studio-endorsed premium content service. Only 4,000 to 5,000 homes will enjoy this privileged perk. Besides, isn’t movie theater popcorn $3,000 a pop anyway?
“It’s a very limited audience,” says Fred Rosen, Red Carpet Home Cinema CEO, who also founded juggernaut Ticketmaster. “There’s money out there. Hermés has a Birkin bag for $25,000. Seventy billion dollars was spent on private planes last year and $60 billion spent on private yachts. If you have every toy in the world, this is the one thing you don’t have—and you can’t get it anywhere else.”
Launched by Rosen and former Warner Bros. distribution chief Dan Fellman, Beverly Hills-based Red Carpet Home Cinema offers affluent movie buffs private in-home rentals of 40+ major theatrical releases a year (activated the day they hit theaters). That includes Godzilla: King of the Monsters, The Long Shot, Shazam!, John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum, Hellboy, the Elton John biopic Rocketman, and more.
So far, five major studios have signed on to this game-changing amenity—Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Disney’s 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, and Annapurna Pictures. More are likely to join later. This luxury concept might be the best pitch Hollywood has heard in a long time.
“People tried introducing [a service] at low prices, like a $30 pay-per-view from the home,” says Rosen. “I thought that was wrong. I asked studios, ‘If I could put together a luxury premium service, would you be open to it?’ They were. I’ve always believed there was a luxury product for the movies.”
Studios protect first-run films as if they’re iconic ancient artifacts. The Shroud of Turin, the Rosetta Stone and the Dead Sea Scrolls have little on them. In Hollywood, content is treasure—it’s the Holy Grail.
Like Indiana Jones, Rosen chased Hollywood’s Holy Grail for nearly two years. He hustled, dodged bullets and pondered how to introduce his luxury movie concept without earthquaking the entire entertainment industry.
“You’re giving a limited audience a channel that didn’t exist which provides ancillary revenue to the film studios and filmmakers,” he says. “It doesn’t change existing distribution methods or the theatrical experience. You’re not getting between the exhibitors and the studios.”
Here’s how Red Carpet Home Cinema works:
The premium content service is only for individuals (not hotels, resorts, etc.) who satisfy a stringent application process. If approved, they’re required to have an HDMI connection, a static IP address and they must purchase a $15,000, proprietary in-home media server (a.k.a. “the box”) which kicks streaming and buffering to the curb.
“Content today is like a five-year old in a toy store—I want what I want, when I want it,” says Rosen.
This isn’t Blockbuster or Netflix. Movies are downloaded directly and securely onto the homeowner’s box for viewing fees ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. Each rental allows members two showings in a 36-hour window.
“If you’re high profile, you can watch a movie with privacy,” says Rosen. “If you work hard on the road all the time, you can conveniently watch when you get home—you probably don’t want to go out to a movie. This can also bring families together because you can watch a movie at home with the kids.”
White glove integrators install the tamper-proof boxes which are automatically shut down if moved. To protect these multibillion and multimillion-dollar film franchises, rules are severely enforced. Members can’t film or duplicate movies, nor charge guests ticket fees.
And yes, Red Carpet Home Cinema can tell who’s violating protocols. That means Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Tom Brady, Tom Hiddleston, and Tommy Hilfiger can all watch movies from the privacy of their homes, but there will be no tomfoolery.
“This is a serious business,” says Rosen. “Studios are giving you a $100 million movie to view. The box has a heartbeat. You can’t move it, you can’t hook up any device up to it. If somebody films it, you have liability for the entire movie because it’s digitally watermarked. We would know who’s house did it and we’d shut them off.”
Rosen is a semi-retired, serial entrepreneur. He serves on boards, collaborates on projects, and watches a lot of movies. His movie passion got the best of him in the best possible way—with anticipated profits. His new job spun off from his hobby.
On this day, “Indiana Rosen” chases cups of coffee at The St. Regis Hotel (an appropriate luxurious New York venue). He’s publicizing Red Carpet Home Cinema like actors promote movies. Except he actually means what he says.
His energy, charisma and enthusiasm for movies isn’t caffeine-fueled at all. It’s genuine. Brunch and all types of movies are on the table—Avengers: Endgame (and its sold out theaters), To Kill A Mockingbird (film and Broadway) and Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, which Rosen considers the best western (if not movie) ever made.
“The Wild Bunch is a modern western about a group of guys, where the world is changing and they didn’t know how to deal with it,” says Rosen.
Rosen and Fellman could’ve been those guys, wrecking Hollywood and everything in sight, like Godzilla would—in this Silicon Valley-startup-social media-Shark Tank universe. But they’re just two successful veterans who respect the traditional business model of relationships—where a handshake is your word. The game hasn’t passed them by.
“In a world of giants, we’re trying not to get stepped on by accident,” says Rosen, who fields company inquiries himself. “We’re too old to be disrupters. We’re friends, this is fun for us. Our members also love movies. They’re creating a cinema experience in the privacy of their own homes.”