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War between Netflix and Big Cinema Chains Brewing Over Release Windows

Posted by: , 10:49 AEDT, Sun March 8, 2015

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Big Cinema wary of Netflix's move into first-run movies, plans to boycott their films
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Image/Photo Credit: EvelynGiggles @ Flickr, CC

Netflix's move into the movie business has become a concern for big cinema chains, as another Netflix first-run movie will be boycotted by the chains when it is set for a simultaneous web and theatrical release this year.

The film 'Beasts of No Nation', starring The Wire's Idris Elba and directed by True Detective's Cary Fukunaga, is a drama about child soldiers in Africa. Netflix purchased the distribution rights to 'Beasts of No Nation' in a bidding war for $12m.

Without a theatrical release, the Oscar-tipped film cannot be considered for the awards, which is why Netflix is keen for the film to make its big screen debut even though the company's main plans are to make the film available as a streaming exclusive for its subscribers.

The big cinema chains, however sees simultaneous releasing as a serious threat to their business model, which has traditionally relied upon a 90-day exclusive release window where the film cannot be shown or distributed via any other avenue. This is why the cinema chains AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike, have all stated they will be boycotting 'Beasts of No Nation'.

Instead, the film will now only be shown on around 200 independent cinemas screens when it is released later this year.

This is not the first Netflix backed film that the cinema chains has vowed to boycott. Netflix will soon be releasing a sequel to the award winning box office smash 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', which has secured limited releasing on IMAX screens around the world, but will not be showing in any of the cinemas owned by the big cinema chains.


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