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Netflix Signs Deal To Release Original Films in Theaters

As another step towards film media domination Netflix has just signed a deal with iPic Entertainment to release Netflix original films on the big screen The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The theater chain will share the opening day release with Netflix which will still release the films on their streaming platform. So far the deal only includes 10 original movies to be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles with an option to expand.

iPic is no AMC but they’re also not trying to be. iPic only boasts 15 theaters throughout the U.S. but each one is a luxurious experience with lobster rolls on their menus and personalized blankets for members. Now they’re piquing my interest. Lobster rolls and a blanket? Count me in.

While this isn’t Netflix’s first foray into the theater business, it is their first solid, long-term deal with a chain. Chief Content Officer of Netflix, Ted Sarandos told WSJ that this was all an effort to prove that their movies are “not TV movies.” TV movies have always gotten a bad rap, mainly due to their lower quality.

Netflix on the other hand has put out solid original content with high production value. Beasts of No Nation starring Idris Elba is a good example. That film currently holds a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While The Ridiculous 6 with Adam Sandler is a fair example. I’m not going to mention the latter’s Rotten Tomato score. Here’s a hint: it’s less than 1 and more than -1.

While this looks to be a good move on the part of Netflix, the National Association of Theater Owners or NATO (seriously, that’s their abbreviation) seem none too pleased.

NATO chief John Fithian released a statement on his views, “Simultaneous release, in practice, has reduced both theatrical and home revenues when it has been tried. Just as Netflix and its customers put a value on exclusivity, theater owners and their customers do too.”

While he has a point we’ll have to just wait and see how this plays out. The first Netflix original film to be opened in an iPic theater is The Siege of Jadotville. It opens today in Los Angeles.

What do you think of Netflix sharing a release day with theaters? Good idea or train wreck waiting to happen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.

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