Netflix ignores American cinemas, but not British ones

With two films in theaters, Netflix is ​​refining its strategy

The New York TimesBy Nicole Sperling, p. 1

Glass Onion: Takes the mystery out of the cutleryThe highly anticipated sequel to the 2019 blockbuster film directed by Rayan JohnsonThat must be the moment Netflix Rubicon has crossed. Instead of giving the film a theatrical release — a strategy designed to ensure that most viewers eventually see a film on the streaming service — Netflix will, for the first time, give the film a traditional, exclusive release in a slew of cinemas. It doesn’t. After a long push and pull, and against the wishes of some Netflix employees and Mr. Johnson, the theatrical release of “Glass Onion,” which some people within the company had at one point hoped would hit 2,000 screens, ended up in 638 theaters in the US. The film, which opened Wednesday and garnered positive reviews, will only be in theaters for one week before it’s available on Netflix on December 23. What was supposed to be an opportune time to prove the value of movie theaters to the streaming giant will not materialize. However, the company is engaged in another interesting theatrical experiment this weekend, which could end up providing Netflix with even more valuable feedback. the movie”Musical MatildaFunded and produced by Netflix, it was shown on more than 1,500 screens in 670 locations across the UK and Ireland on Friday. The movie starring whatever Thompson Playing the villainous Miss Trunchbull, it would be distributed and promoted by Sony Pictures, as Netflix, in a one-off deal with two films in theaters, worked out its strategy, licensing the rights to Netflix on the condition that Sony retain United for a theatrical release. (“Matilda”, based on a musical based on a children’s book by Roald Dahl, is a huge favorite in the UK. The musical has been playing in London’s West End since 2011.) “It will be a good example of what can be done,” said Tim Richards, founder and managing director of Vue International, a London-based showcasing company with theaters in countries such as the UK, Denmark, Germany and Italy.

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If ever there was a movie made for the big screen, this is it.Matilda“:” Sony Pictures, which declined to comment for this article, purchased the movie rights to “Matilda the Musical” in 2015, with showrunner, Matthew Warchus, overseeing the adaptation. At the same time, Netflix was looking to boost its family movie offering and set its sights on the Roald Dahl estate. (In 2021, Netflix purchased Dahl’s entire estate, giving the company the ability to adapt books like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “The BFG” into movies and TV shows, while also controlling copyright.) In late 2019, it concluded The companies have an agreement under which they fund Netflix.”Musical MatildaIt will be produced in collaboration with Sony And the a job Title Movies, a British manufacturing company. Netflix will control the rights to the final product worldwide, except in the UK and Ireland, where Sony will hold the rights and release the film theatrically. “Matilda the Musical” won’t appear on Netflix in the UK and Ireland until next summer, but it will be available to stream in the US and other countries this Christmas. The film has received positive reviews so far. The Independent deemed it a “sumptuous, euphoric delight”, while The Guardian called it “a biting piece of entertainment, delivered with gusto”. The movie has a positive rating of 100%. corrupt Tomatoes He can do the kind of work that the original did.”run out rabbitat the UK box office, selling $54 million in tickets. Whether the box office performances of “Glass Onion” and “Matilda” will have a long-term impact on Netflix’s approach to theatrical distribution is an important question. According to three people familiar with the inner workings of Netflix, several executives in the company’s movie group would like Netflix to adopt a more traditional strategy when it comes to theatrical releases, but its co-CEOs, Ted Sarandos and Reed Hastings, remain focused on streaming.
(Continued in The New York Times)

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