According to Bloomberg, Netflix is looking into the possibility of expanding their market through exclusive theatrical windows of their original films, before they make their way onto their streaming service. Not every Netflix original releases in theatres, but the ones that do are usually high-profile films that the studio wants to push for not only a good critical reception, but potential awards contenders as well.
Before, Netflix would usually release a movie for two to three weeks before it made its way to streaming. However, in order to differentiate themselves from other streaming services, the streamer plans to expand their theatrical markets with the now common 45-day window in thousands of theatres later this year. Who knows, this could lead to Netflix partnering with formats like IMAX to amp up the theatrical experience, which is something IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond was previously interested in doing if the windows were larger.
The first film that may try this new experiment is Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out 2, the highly-anticipated sequel starring Daniel Craig and an all-star supporting cast. Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s BARDO (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths) is also reportedly planned to release in theatres for 45 days before dropping on the streaming service.
This strategy could be beneficial not only for movie theatres but also for Netflix itself which has been trying to figure out how to bounce back from a decline in subscriptions this year. Ad-supported tiers are also considered to bring consumers back to Netflix, but a theatrical showcase of their biggest films could be a good idea if all parties (theater chains and Netflix) come to an agreement. We will have to see where this leads next.