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Theater chains to boycott Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation

03.05.2015

Earlier in the week Netflix purchased the rights to Cary Fukunaga’s BEASTS OF NO NATION for $12 million and announced their intentions to release the film theatrically as well as on their streaming service on the same day. Theater exhibitors balked at that, calling it a “violation” of the usual 90-day window that customarily separates a film’s theatrical debut from its arrival on home entertainment.

Four of the largest theater exhibitors in the country, AMC, Cinemark, Regal, and Carmike, made good on their threat by declaring that they will not be screening the film. For the majority of us wishing to view the film up on the big-screen that unfortunately mean’s we’re out of luck.  However there is still hope as the film will hopefully be able to make its big-screen premiere in select theaters like The Alamo Drafthouse.

Drafthouse CEO Tim League doesn’t seem to have a problem with Netflix’s plan.

I’m agnostic about this sort of thing. I look at films I want to play and I play them regardless of the release strategy. I don’t look at myself as a competitor to Netflix, I think that argument is a little bit of a red herring. I watch a lot of movies at home, but there comes a time where I want to get out of the house. I look at cinemas as one of those options that compete with restaurants or baseball games or all of those things I can’t do in my living room.

Seeing as how Netflix is planning on giving BEASTS OF NO NATION a fairly substantial push for awards season, and screening a film theatrically is a must for the Academy Awards, this can only come as good news.

Insiders are guessing that the film could screen in as many as 200-250 independent and art-house cinemas. Good news for people with access to those theaters I suppose. Do I sound bitter? Sitting here in my one theater town (we’ve got two horses though!). As Netflix grows larger and more alternatives to viewing movies pop up, I can only imagine this will turn into a more pressing issue for theater chains.

Personally, I always like to view movies up on the big screen but when you take into account the annoying audience members, sticky floors, and sub-standard projection you often find at theaters, I can definitely see how it would be appealing to watch recently released films in the comfort of your own home.

Would you rather view BEASTS OF NO NATION up on the big screen first or does it matter?

Source: Variety

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