AMC CEO Lauds Landmark Netflix ‘Knives Out 2’ Theatrical Agreement

The agreement marks the first-ever deal between Netflix and the world’s largest theatrical exhibitor regarding big screen distribution of the streamer’s original movies. Until this year, Netflix had refused to stream its movies exclusively in theaters, preferring instead to distribute titles concurrently across both platforms.

Glass Onion is the follow-up to Knives Out, the 2019 Lionsgate sleeper hit that generated more than $311 million at the global box office, featuring an ensemble cast led by Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, Ana de Armas and Jamie Lee Curtis, among others.

Daniel Craig in ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’

Netflix acquired the rights to the sequel and a future third film from director Rian Johnson for a reported $469 million.

From Nov. 23-29, AMC moviegoers will have access to Glass Onion at more than 200 locations throughout the U.S. The movie will also play at select Odeon Cinema Group’s locations in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Spain.

“As we have often said, we believe that both theatrical exhibitors and streamers can continue to co-exist successfully,” Aron said in a statement.

Indeed, Aron has long publicly stated a desire to screen Netflix movies — a stance not shared by other exhibitors that have largely shunned the SVOD behemoth’s movies without an exclusive distribution window.

“It has been our desire that we find a way to crack the code and synergistically work together,” Aron said. “By doing so, theaters will make more money by having more titles to show, and thanks to the larger cultural resonance those movies can gain from a theatrical release, they will wind up playing to a wider audience when they also are viewed on streaming platforms.”

While fiscal details of the landmark deal were not disclosed, Aron said AMC would welcome future Netflix movies with “proper agreements” in place.

Indeed, the pact comes as AMC is trying to emerge from a pandemic that saw the exhibition business literally shut down overnight in March 2020 due to COVID-19.

No. 2 exhibitor Regal Cinemas, whose parent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to the pandemic, along with Cinemark, will also screen Glass Onion.

“This agreement … is acceptable to AMC as it sufficiently respects the sanctity of our current theatrical window policy,” Aron said. “We are hopeful that a successful screening in our theaters this Thanksgiving will lead to more co-operation between Netflix and AMC in the months and years ahead.”

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