When DVDs and Blu Ray’s came along, VHS tapes went by the wayside and as online video streaming became more popular, video rental places began disappearing. Nothing in the movie viewing world seems permanent, could movie theaters be the next to go?
This is highly unlikely.
In fact, Netflix is hoping to establish more of a relationship with movie theaters. Netflix added this reasoning to their shareholder letter:
“Since our members are funding these films, they should be the first to see them. But we are also open to supporting the large theater chains, such as AMC and Regal in the US, if they want to offer our films, such as our upcoming Will Smith film Bright, in theaters simultaneous to Netflix. Let consumers choose.”
Of course, us viewers don’t actually fund the films themselves, but we do have a say on what we watch. And that says a lot considering it seems like we enjoy blockbuster hits. Netflix says that we, the viewers, are responsible for viewing over 500 million hours of Adam Sandler films. I, myself, am guilty of at least 2 of those hours but everyone needs a good dose of juvenile humor.
That being said, we make shows and movies popular, most of those tend to be bigger films, similar to Bright.
This would definitely benefit bigger films that don’t quite translate well over a laptop or smartphone screen.
And this idea has worked before. Beasts of No Nation was shown in theaters for a limited time so it can qualify for the Oscars. It’s the simultaneous aspect of the idea that is holding it back.
Plus there are some business issues as well. What if these limited runs don’t sell? Is someone going to actually go see a Netflix movie for $12 at the theater vs staying at home (where pants are optional) with unlimited streaming at $10?
It’s an awesome idea, I would love to see movies like Bright on the big screen, there are just a few more kinks that need worked out.