Here we go again. In what is becoming a tradition, AMC and Regal Theater chains are refusing to screen Netflix’s Best Picture nominees, because that’s just how they roll. The chains typically do a showcase of Best Picture nominees in which they bring the nominated movies back to theaters, but the two Netflix titles – The Irishman and Marriage Story – won’t be included. The same thing happened last year with Netflix’s Roma.
If you were hoping to catch two of the Best Picture nominees on the big screen at an AMC or Regal this month, you’re out of luck. As CNBC reports, “Both movie theater chains have the same rule: they won’t show any nominated films that didn’t have a standard theatrical release or weren’t licensed to be shown in their theaters during their initial release.”
That means those theaters have a problem with Netflix, since the streaming giant doesn’t like to play by the traditional rules of theatrical windows. There was a time when this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but if trends continue, it’s clear that someone, somewhere, is going to have to work something out. Because Netflix’s influence and reach just keep growing. – they picked up a total of 24 Oscar nominations this year.
Last year, the service only had one Best Picture nominee to worry about – Roma. This year they have both Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. The Netflix model is based around bringing in subscribers, which is why they don’t care too much about theatrical windows. And that’s where the problems arise, because the theater model is to put butts in seats. In other words, the streaming service and the theater chains are diametrically opposed.
Will Netflix and AMC and Regal work out their differences? It seems unlikely, but the bigger question is: does the public at large even care? Cinephiles aside, are there going to be a lot of folks out there furious that they can’t catch Marriage Story and The Irishman – two movies you can watch in your house right now – in theaters? I really don’t know.
The Academy Awards will be held February 9, 2020.
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