Supposedly, Netflix is considering a more drastic plan to take their movies to the big screen: buy theaters. The broadcast service was in talks to acquire Mark Cuban's Landmark Theaters, but it was withdrawn due to cost, according to a new Los Angeles Times report. A Variety source says that Netflix is not specifically interested in Landmark, but has considered acquiring theatrical space.
Although the two sources who spoke with The Times say that Netflix eventually killed the deal, rumors could still be an important indicator of how Netflix imagines its future in the entertainment industry. Although Netflix has around 125 million paid subscribers, putting it ahead of its competitors like Amazon (which recently announced that it had 100 million major subscribers) and Hulu (which is primarily based in the US), has not yet won the respect of the main theater chains and film establishments.
More recently, Netflix was effectively excluded from this year's Cannes Film Festival. Last year, Cannes 'artistic director, Thierry Frémaux, implemented a rule that required all films to be screened at French theaters to be eligible for the Palme d' Or prize, which allowed Netflix to elude at that time due to to strict media regulations in France. When Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories were screened at Cannes last year, they were booed by the audience. So last month, Netflix was banned from competing in the festival, which caused Netflix to withdraw completely from the festival.
Owning a theater or theater chain would make it easier for Netflix to qualify for other Hollywood awards such as the Oscars, which also require the movies to see a theatrical release to be eligible. Although Netflix films such as Beasts of No Nation and Mudbound were screened in a limited number of theaters, the broadcast service remained in a day and date structure, meaning that those films were available to view simultaneously in theaters and in theaters. Netflix. According to Variety, the main theater chains will not have a movie without an exclusive theatrical window.
Amazon, on the other hand, has been less reluctant to see its originals in theaters. The 2016 Oscar winner, Manchester by the Sea, saw a traditional release calendar, first debuting at Sundance and then launching into theaters in different markets before ending up on Amazon Prime. Netflix won its first Oscar this year for Icarus, which debuted simultaneously in theaters and on Netflix.
Netflix declined to comment on the reports.