March 19, 2019
Movie exhibitor Imax is open to screening Netflix movies provided the subscription streaming video pioneer agrees to a longer theatrical window, according to CEO Rich Gelfond.
Speaking earlier this month on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Gelfond said Imax had joined other exhibitors bypassing Netflix original movies made available on the service day-and-date with theatrical release.
He said Imax’s stance would change if Netflix was willing to compromise.
“Directors themselves really want theatrical releases,” Gelfond said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see if [Netflix has] windows for that. Now, whether the windows are good enough where the theaters want to play them, that remains to be seen.”
Exhibitors want Netflix to abide the industry-standard 12-week window, while Netflix has agreed to 14-day windows for select films such as Oscar winner Roma and Bird Box– both earmarked for industry awards.
Netflix made new release The Highwaymen, starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, available theatrically on March 15 – two weeks ahead of its global streaming debut March 29.
Imax would like to screen Netflix’s next awards-caliber movie, The Irishman, from director Martin Scorsese, which debuts later this year.