UPDATE, Feb. 21, 2018:
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. While Poptheatr managed to wrangle $14,719 in funding from 114 backers, the theater-in-a-bag failed to reach its stated fundraising goal of $40,000. The fundraiser closed on Feb. 17.
There are no updates on the Kickstarter page since Feb. 17, but a comment on Feb. 16 implies that this won’t be the last the world will hear from Poptheatr.
“We have learned a lot about the platform and how to better market our product, and we plan on relaunching our campaign within the next few weeks with a different strategy in mind,” the comment reads.
Earlier, on Feb. 1, 2018:
In this day and age, an average movie ticket will run you about $9. That price point is a contributing factor, analysts say, for 2017 being one of the worst box office years on record.
Related: Reading the best Black Panther comics is cheaper than a movie ticket
Nowadays, more and more viewers are spending time watching content on their phones at home. In 2016, Netflix estimated that half of all its users were watching content on a mobile device.
More: MoviePass pulls out of 10 AMC theaters, but don’t worry — you can still use your card in Austin
And, with the proliferation of MoviePass, which promises up to a movie a day in the theater for the monthly rate of a little more than the average movie ticket, the movie-going landscape is rife with change, and there’s no sign of stopping. One startup even wants to deliver same-day releases from the theater to the viewer at home.
Now, a Kickstarter for a product called Poptheatr is here to solve the next step in our collective content-viewing woes: What do you do when you want to watch something on your phone or tablet, but don’t actually want to hold the mobile device, or when your arm falls asleep from having to keep the screen in one location for an extended duration of time?
More: Sky Cinemas, new concept from Violet Crown creator, is now open
You put it on a platform above you, stick a bag over your head, and watch your Netflix lying down.
Poptheatr is advertised as “your own private theater that provides you with a comfortable, personal viewing experience when watching on your mobile device.”
Take a look:
Photo: YouTube screenshot.
Place the phone and the poptheatr Bluetooth speaker on the plastic sheet and you're good to go.
Photo: YouTube screenshot.
Basically, you press play, put your phone on a see-through plastic sheet on the top of the bag, stick your head in the bag, and immerse yourself in your own little world of content. It also comes with a remote and a Bluetooth speaker that you also put on the top of the bag. The bag is also collapsible, so you can take your theater bag anywhere, like in the screenshot above.
Related: Let’s talk about the ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ trailer
The FAQ page on the Kickstarter promises that the bag won’t get too hot if you stick your head in there for too long, and assures you that you can still eat while watching your movie/TV show/etc.
Poptheatr was started after the creators were looking for a project for their California high school engineering class. And, to be fair, the simple solution presented here for a problem we didn’t even know we had will serve these kids well in the future.
More: I watched the ‘Christian Netflix’ for a week. Here’s what I learned.
So far, the venture has raised a little more than $7,000 on Kickstarter and has until Feb. 17 to reach its stated $40,000 goal.
A pledge of $54 or more gets you one Poptheatr, which apparently will retail for a cool $119. For the introverted high rollers among us who would like to experience a communal moviegoing experience in separate bags, 10 Poptheatrs can be had for pledges of $476 or more.
“We’ve developed the perfect solution to the long-lived problem of watching movies and shows on mobile in discomfort,” one of the creators says in the pitch video.
Look, this looks cool and all, but if this gets fully funded and sent to market, I’m waiting for the rash of news stories about people getting their phones stolen from them while using this in public, or a ton of memes of people just looking goofy (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We haven’t really had a good product craze since Pokémon Go.).
If anything, this is an extremely First World problem to have, and I couldn’t stop thinking of “Wall-E” when I first saw the pitch video.
Anway, what do y’all think? If you want your very own Poptheatr, get to pledgin’. You only have until Feb. 17, and since this is an “all or nothing” deal on Kickstarter, if it doesn’t reach its goal, it won’t get made.