Netflix has been in the original film business since 2015 beast without nations, but they have always insisted on one thing: with few exceptions, their films will never be released in theaters. Perhaps that’s one reason the streamer that started it all has recently found itself in financial peril, to the point that it’s rushing a cheaper, ad-supported version to attract more people. And maybe that’s why you have the luxury of watching one of her star-studded movies, like the second one knife outin – you understand – a darkened auditorium full of strangers.
A report from Bloomberg (somewhat teased out by insider) reveals that Netflix is considering rethinking how they release the films they make in-house. A solution? Let them play cinemas first and after 45 days finally make them available for paying subscribers in their streaming box offices. It’s a different approach than what they’ve been doing before, which is just sharing their movies online to people who have already paid for a monthly subscription.
It’s certainly a new approach, this idea of making extra money by working with theaters to charge people $15+ a head to see movies that cost quite a bit of money to produce and advertise. But there’s a problem: the country’s biggest chains, AMC and Cineworld, refuse to show their films when they’re already streaming, as it obviously eats into their profits.
The fact of the matter is that movie theater owners would love to show Netflix movies, certainly not least because box office attendances have fallen by 40% since movie attendance slightly returned to normal as the pandemic abated. Bloomberg reports that Netflix executives met with heads of top box office chains last month, suggesting a deal that includes that 45-day theater-exclusive window may yet materialize. They could at least experiment with a few titles, probably the first of Rian Johnson’s two planned ones knife out sequels or bardofrom the two-time Oscar winner birdman and The revenant Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
If it works, it will end one of the strangest business models in cinema’s more than century-and-a-half-year history, which made sense for smaller films that might struggle to find an audience in a cinema, but less so for, say, a 200 million -dollar blockbuster with three megastars. Until then, imagine what it will be like to rejoice in Daniel Craig solving crimes, perhaps with a different outrageous accent, in the midst of an ecstatic crowd of people happy to be off their sofa.
(Above Bloomberg and insider)