This fascinating article is not only enlightening … it gives hope that NETFLIX will become the champion of a new day, getting ‘smaller’ films to us easily and without the restrictions imposed by film ‘majors’. Although this article focuses on a particular film purchased by Netflix, it contains seeds of the idea that Netflix plans to become a player in the industry, and not in the conventional way. (here)
“Beasts of No Nation” wasn’t just a high-stakes, death-defying production for its cast and crew. It’s also a dive off the cliff for Netflix, which acquired the movie for a whopping $12 million last winter, as part of a plan to upend the conventions of the film business in the same way it has transformed traditional TV viewing with original series such as “Orange Is the New Black,” “House of Cards” and “Daredevil.”
This week, “Beasts” enters the triple-gauntlet of film festivals (starting with Venice and Telluride, followed by Toronto), premiering Oct. 16 on Netflix, the same day the film opens in platform release on 29 screens via distributor Bleecker Street. … But because the major chains — AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres and Carmike Cinemas — still refuse to show titles that aren’t exclusive to multiplexes, the only venues that “Beasts” can occupy are arthouse screens like the Alamo Drafthouse chain. “Netflix will have to prove its value to theater owners,” says John Fithian, president of the National Assn. of Theatre Owners, who admits to streaming movies at home.
Despite some resistance, Netflix’s entrance into the movie business will be a game changer…. the video-streaming goliath doesn’t need to rely on ticket sales to measure a film’s success. Rather, Netflix makes money through its paid subscriber base, which is 65 million and growing. … Sarandos pledges that Netflix’s slate will be much more diverse than those of studios. “We’re trying to make the films that are not getting made,” he says. … Explains Sarandos, “It struck me, as we’re getting into the film business, we should be picking projects that are exceptional films, and otherwise difficult to distribute.”