Netflix May Change Its Release Policy In Order To Get Its Movies Into More Theaters

Netflix May Change Its Release Policy In Order To Get Its Movies Into More Theaters
09 Aug


Netflix is certainly a powerhouse in the entertainment world and this year’s Emmy nominations proved just how solid the streaming service is when it comes to television.  Netflix racked up the most nominations, besting even the mighty HBO.  But one area where success has eluded the service is when it comes to recognition for its movies.  Many in the film industry don’t feel that Netflix movies, like ‘Beast of No Nation’, ‘Okja’ and ‘Mudbound’ should qualify for the Academy Award because they view them as being made-for-TV.

In the past, Netflix has managed to conform to the requirements that their movies must play in theaters for a minimum period of time to be eligible for the Award, but theaters have been resistant because they view Netflix as competition.  In order to book a movie in most theaters, it has to ONLY be available in theaters for a period of time, but so far, Netflix has not conformed to that.  They release their movies at the same time in theaters and streaming.

That’s what happened in 2015, when Netflix rolled out ‘Beasts of No Nation’.  Theaters boycotted it, which resulted in the film dying in limited release and failing to secure any Academy Award nominations.

For their part, Amazon has agreed to theaters’ requirements and have held off releasing movies on Amazon Prime in order to give them a shot in theaters, and now Netflix might follow suit.

Alfonso Cuarón

Right now, two upcoming Netflix movies, Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’ and Paul Greengrass’ ’22 July’ are getting Academy Award buzz, but reportedly the directors are pushing for a wider release, meaning not limiting their theatrical runs to New York and Los Angeles, and allowing them to remain in theaters for a longer period of time.

According to sources, Netflix is considering these requests from Cuarón and Greengrass, but theaters are sticking by their policy of not showing a movie on the big screen when it is available on Netflix.  Will Netflix change its policy to appease theaters?  That remains to be seen, but insiders say that they are at least thinking about it.

Cuarón’s last movie, ‘Gravity‘ earned the director the Academy Award for Best Director, as well as one for Film Editing.  His latest, ‘Roma’ a black and white Spanish-language film is a different type of movie altogether, and obviously one that doesn’t exactly scream box office hit.  But should it get a nomination, that might convince people who wouldn’t normally be attracted to this type of movie to give it a shot.

Paul Greengrass

Similarly, Greengrass’ ’22 July’ depicts the 2011 terrorist attack at a Youth Camp near Oslo, where an assailant killed 77 people.  This movie takes place entirely in Norway, but reportedly, the dialogue is mainly English with subtitles.  The film has already been nominated for Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival, which is a good sign that it could garner even more accolades… if Netflix does what it needs to in order to make it eligible.

Both movies are a bit of a hard sell, which is why they went to Netflix in the first place.  But getting nominated for major awards could help generate more interest.  And surely the directors want as many eyes on their work as possible.  But it would require a major concession from Netflix.  So we’ll have to wait and see if the streaming service will budge.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Jason Motes

Jason’s earliest memory is of watching ‘Batman,’ followed shortly by a memory of playing Batman & Robin with a friend, which entailed running outside in just their underwear and towels as capes. When adults told them they couldn’t run around outside in their underwear, both boys promptly whipped theirs off and ran around in just capes. Jason’s father gamely agreed to read him comic books as bedtime stories instead of ‘Snow White.’ (Super Friends being his favorite.) Jason saw all of the original Star Wars movies (and Indiana Jones and Superman and Star Trek…) in the theaters. Yes, he is old. And grew up in the most GEEKTASTIC decade ever, the 80s, devouring a steady diet of GI Joe, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power and (best of all) Jem! (It totally counts as sci fi! They had a sentient computer that projected holograms!) Jason has studied literature, journalism, film history and has a degree in creative writing (and a minor in psychology) from the University of South Alabama. He has worked as a technical writer and proofreader. These days, most of his creative energy goes into his blog and writing for this site! He lives with the cutest puppies ever.



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