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Yes, Sure, Movie Theater Owners Would Love To Show Netflix Films On A Big Screen, If Netflix Would Let Them

Time was — for well over a century — people made movies then played them in theaters so as to turn a large profit. It worked out pretty well for them. Then Netflix decided to try something different. Since 2015, they’ve been spending blockbuster bucks on big movies with big stars — Red Notice, Bird Box, The Irishman, The Adam Project, etc., etc. — then dumping them on their streaming service, free to anyone already paying a subscription. Now they’re mysteriously having financial problems. But perhaps there’s someone they can turn to: people who run movie theaters.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (whose acronym, NATO, is not to be confused with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), has offered Netflix the chance to make extra money off their expensive original motion pictures. (It would also help them recoup losses accrued during the pandemic, which got so bad they spent a fortune on an ad in which Nicole Kidman begs people to return.)

“We love those guys [at Netflix],” Fithian said at a presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. “Ted Sarandos [its co-CEO] knows movies and TV better than anyone in Hollywood. Our doors are open to give broader play to Netflix movies. We’d love to play more of their movies.”

Fithian also pointed out that the day-and-date release strategy adopted by some major Hollywood studios, such as Warner Bros., during the pandemic is a proven failure. Simply look at how films like Dune, The Suicide Squad, and The Matrix Resurrections underperformed in theaters or worse.

“I am pleased to announce that simultaneous release is dead as a serious business model, and piracy is what killed it,” Fithian told the crowd. “When a pristine copy of a movie makes its way online and spreads, it has a very damaging impact on our industry.”

For the record, Netflix hasn’t entirely skipped theaters. They have a deal with Cinemark to give some of their films a limited theatrical release. How well has that worked for them? Red Notice, one of the streamer’s most-watched films, made a total of $178,143 in theaters off a reported budget of $200 million.

Will you one day be able to watch the threatened Red Notice on a big screen with loud sound and strangers and everything? Netflix has always been stubborn about that option, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

(Via THR)