Netflix Getting Into The Movie Theater Business

Netflix wants to get into the physical movie theater game, and while that may be good news for them, it’s bad news for us at home.

By nowproducerdave on April 20, 2018
(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for TCM)

Do you go to the movies? Maybe not as much as you used to since there’s so much great content at home on Netflix anyway, but then again if you want to see that new Rom-Com before all your friends do, you’ve got to go to a theater to see the flick. Those theaters might even be owned by Netflix soon, if this plan comes to fruition.

Why does Netflix want to buy movie theaters? Exposure. But aren’t they already in most US homes already? Probably, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to getting people into theaters to watch the latest Oscar-potential winners. Netflix wants to compete with the big boys, and that’s hard to do when the big boys are all in theaters, and Netflix-original content is on the streaming service only. Netflix wants to get their movies – the ones they produce – in theaters so that they can start competing with the other larger production companies. The more people see your film, the better your chances of going to the Oscars. If your movies are on Netflix-streaming only, it’s not getting a ton of attention.

Does Netflix have ACTUAL plans to buy theaters? Actually, yes they do. They’ve been looking at theaters in LA and NY, and it really sounds like something they’re considering. A source at Netflix says “Netflix wants to establish itself as a critical exhibition source on both coasts… For awards consideration they need to be able to release pictures on screens in major markets.” But don’t they already show some of their movies in theaters? They do, but the movies are released for streaming the same day, so the “word-of-mouth theatrical buzz” is low, and the films quickly “lose traction” come awards season. So if Netflix owned theaters, they would have to change release dates for those same titles on the actual streaming side, so that would mean a later release for home-viewing. It gets complicated, check out the details here. Is a Netflix Theater something you’d be interested in seeing?

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