Netflix’s continued movement into various aspects of the entertainment industry has become a massive topic of conversation over the course of the last number of years as the streaming giant has continuously upended the traditional theater-going experience. That said, it now looks like Netflix is actually looking to move into the theatrical experience, rather than completely disrupt it. In fact, it looks like Netflix may be want to get its hands on a theater chain of its own.
A new development has occurred in the continuously evolving dynamic between Netflix and the theater distribution model. Per a new report by The Los Angeles Times, it looks like Netflix may have considered buying movie theaters of its own in Los Angeles and New York as a means of screening its feature and documentary projects that might not typically get airtime at major theater chains. Netflix apparently considered purchasing the Landmark theater chain owned by Mark Cuban at one point, but decided against it over the steep price. Nevertheless, the decision to buy a theater chain to screen its content remains an idea that’s very much on Netflix’s radar.
As far as prestige is concerned, some definite advantages could result from a Netflix-owned theater chain. The topic of Netflix movies becoming worthy of awards recognition has turned into a major discussion within the entertainment industry, with names as big as Ready Player One director Steven Spielberg saying that Netflix movies aren’t Oscar-worthy. A significant factor in that discussion has been the fact that Netflix movies don’t always get a theater distribution deal. By buying a chain of its very own, Netflix would have the ability to start screening its own content on big screens in select cities to make a much more convincing argument for awards consideration.
Recently, the war between Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival came to a head when it was announced that the festival would only allow theatrically-screened movies to compete. This prompted Netflix to pull out completely, stating that Cannes is more focused on distribution that cinematic art. Getting its hands on theater exhibition would open up a natural pathway to these prestigious events, and that exposure could translate to more prestigious movie content moving forward.
Of course, at this point in time, no deal has been finalized yet. The notion of Netflix considering a theater purchase remain just rumors, but we will bring you more information related to all of these rumors as it becomes available to us.