Netflix, together with Weinstein Co., will produce a sequel to the award winning and international smash hit 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' in a move that has angered theater chains.
The sequel, 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend', stars Asian superstars Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh (who starred in the first 'Crouching Tiger' film).
Theater chains in the US, however, have expressed their anger at the release schedule for the film. Netflix will release the film simultaneously on IMAX screens around the world, as well as on Netflix on August 28, 2015, giving Netflix's millions of subscribers instant access to a movie that has just started its theatrical run. Netflix's investment in the film ensures the streaming platform has a say in how the film is released, and would be the first major film to be released on subscription VOD at the same time as its global theatrical release, also known as a day-and-date release.
US theater chains Regal, Cinemark and now AMC have vowed to boycott the film and will not be showing it at any of their cinemas.
"Cinemark does not play day-and-date movie releases on any of our screens including the Imax screens that we operate," a Cinemark spokesman said.
"While a home video release may be simultaneously performing in certain IMAX locations, at 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," said a spokesman for Regal.
AMC also later confirmed that their IMAX cinemas will also not be showing the film, stating that no one has actually approached the chain to "license this made-for-video sequel".
Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos, however, spoke glowingly about the deal and what it means for movie lovers.
"Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty," Sarandos said in announcing the deal. "We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with Imax, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film."