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Netflix might release Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma’ exclusive to theaters, not ‘day and date’

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  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix is
    considering giving Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” an expanded,
    exclusive theatrical run before it streams on
    Netflix. 
  • This would be a sharp pivot from its original plans,
    which were to release the movie on Netflix as well as in select
    theaters on the same day (known as “day and date”).
  • That’s been Netflix’s usual policy, which hasn’t landed
    it in the good graces of theater chains.
  • But Cuarón reportedly wants an expanded theatrical run
    for the movie, and Netflix wants to make its high-profile
    filmmakers happy while improving its awards chances.

 

Netflix might be softening its stance in its biggest fight with
movie theaters.

According to The Hollywood Reporter,
Netflix is considering giving “Roma,” the
Alfonso Cuarón-directed Oscar contender, an exclusive
theatrical run before premiering it on the service for streaming.
This would be a sharp pivot from its original plans, which were
to make it available to stream the same day it ran in select
theaters (called “day and date”). 

In fact, that’s been Netflix’s usual policy, which has never
landed the company in the good graces of theatrical chains.
Because of this policy, most major theater chains have refused to
play Netflix movies. That stands in contrast to competitor
Amazon, which gives its original movies exclusive theatrical runs
before streaming (and has reaped the rewards at the Oscars).

Anonymous sources told THR that Netflix film chief
Scott Stuber is pushing head of content Ted Sarandos to give the
movie, and others from high-profile filmmakers, an extended
theatrical run prior to its debut on Netflix in order to improve
Netflix’s awards-season chances and make those filmmakers
happy.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for
comment from Business Insider and declined to comment to
THR.

Netflix once flirted with the idea of buying Landmark
Theaters 
 in order to guarantee its movies play in
theaters, but ultimately passed on the chance. And Business
Insider reported in April that Netflix had rejected offers to
play its films at some arthouse theaters, possibly out of fear of
underperforming.

Netflix’s lack of theatrical distribution has been a headache for
the company. Earlier this year, Netflix pulled out of the Cannes
Film Festival after a new rule disqualified any film
without a theatrical distribution in France.

Netflix has been attracting top talent in the industry to
boost its profile. Along with Cuarón and Greengrass, Netflix is
premiering movies from the Coen Brothers and more at the Venice
Film Festival, which began on Wednesday. But now it needs to keep
them happy. 

“Roma” does not have a release date yet, but was expected
to arrive on Netflix and in select theaters later this year.
Netflix’s official description of the
movie is, “A story that chronicles a tumultuous year in the life
of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early
1970s.” 

Learn details about Netflix’s other movies that are
premiering at Venice here.

Watch the “Roma” trailer below:

 

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