Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) Has Angered Theater Owners With Beasts of No Nation

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is expanding and coming up with unique content at a fast pace but the popular streaming service is also making enemies along the way.

Its DVD service didn’t make any friends back in the day but it came out victorious after a few years. Now things have changed and the company is focusing more on delivering great content, with its own original TV shows like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

The company now plans to move into the movie business a lot more, with its first major feature film, Beasts of No Nation. The film will be available to the subscribers but the company has taken this a bit further, releasing the war drama in theaters. Correction, in the theaters whose owners don’t mind what Netflix is doing.

A few months ago, major movie theater chains told Variety they would not show Netflix’s new film, which stars Idris Elba, Kurt Egyiawan and Abraham Attah. Why? They think films should take time before they reach screens at home.


When we watch a film in theaters, it usually takes around two to three months for it to be released to viewers at home. Now Netflix is changing the whole process.

Patrick Corcoran, VP of the National Association of Theatre Owners, says the streaming service is not serious about a theatrical release. He added that there isn’t a real commitment.

Why They Don’t Like The Idea

Corcoran explained that theater owners put their time, marketing and space to screen the latest movies, which leaves little incentive to show a film that people can easily watch through Netflix for less money. They say those theaters who helped promote Netflix’s feature film, could lead to more people watching at home.

Phil Contrino, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, says it’s not equal space. He added that a lot of people are subscribed to Netflix and can watch the film at home. He finished by asking how many of those subscribers are going to go see it in theaters.

Corcoran says theater owners first heard about Netflix’s plan to release the film during a press conference. They were not happy. The norm is for distributors to negotiate a release with theater owners before a public announcement is made. In the case of Netflix’s film, theaters owners first heard about it when the public received the news.

About The Film

Beasts of No Nation PosterBeasts of No Nation, a film about a young boy who is trying to survive a civil war, has caught the attention of critics and has received praise for the performances of both Elba and Atta. The war drama is seen by many as an Oscar contender.

The film was reportedly produced for $6 million and had its worldwide distribution rights bought by the streaming service for around $12 million back in March. Netflix has seen a lot of success recently, receiving 34 Emmy nominations for its TV shows earlier this year. The film may be in the running for the biggest award in Hollywood, but first, it must follow the Academy rules and be screened in theaters on the same day or before the home release so it can be considered for an Oscar.

Corcoran says having the movie available on the Internet takes away some of that aura when you go see a film in theaters.

Beasts of No Nation is now available in select theaters. Will it win an Oscar? Have you seen it? Let us know in the comments.




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