Movie theaters prove they still hate Netflix by refusing to show its big new film
The sticking point seems to be Netflix's commitment to "day-and-date releases," which means that the movie will be available to stream on Netflix the same day as it arrives in theaters.
Netflix executives describe this as the future, and an extension of Netflix's mantra to give the consumer exactly what he or she wants.
Theater owners think this policy undermines their business, sources told the Los Angeles Times. And some of them don't buy Netflix's argument that it is better for the customer.
"Netflix's commitment to consumer choice only extends as far as it benefits Netflix," Patrick Corcoran, the spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners told the Los Angeles Times.
The new "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" movie will only play in around a dozen IMAX theaters in the US.
Netflix ran into a similar issue with "Beasts of No Nation," its high-profile indie feature film, which stars Idris Elba as a terrifying African warlord. The film debuted in October in 31 theaters, and only took in $50,699 in its opening weekend (a theater average of $1,635). The new "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" will play in even fewer venues.
"It's going to be very, very difficult for Netflix to get the major theater chains to carry its movies," FBR Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett told The Los Angeles Times.
When Netflix originally announced its plans for "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" back in late 2014, the response from theaters, including market leader Regal, was ice cold.
"Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3" wide on a smart phone. We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear," Regal spokesman Russ Nunley said in a statement. Cinemark joined in the condemnation.
The climate hasn't warmed since then.
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