November 21, 2018
Italian lawmakers are moving to make law the country’s 105-day theatrical window granting exhibitors exclusive access to new release feature films ahead of home entertainment and over-the-top video.
Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said the move was aimed at protecting the country’s cinemas against SVOD services such as Netflix, which typically makes its original movies concurrently available for streaming and theatrical exhibition.
Netflix, as it has in France and the United States, drew the ire of Italian exhibitors following its Venice Film Festival winning entry, Roma from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men).
The law would reduce the window to 60 days if a movie is distributed in fewer than 80 theatres and/or attracts less than 50,000 moviegoers.
Interestingly, Netflix has transitioned toward brief theatrical windows in the U.S. for select movies – including Roma– to gain favor with Academy Award voters.
The SVOD behemoth’s first original movie – Beasts of No Nation– was ignored by voters in 2015 despite widespread critical acclaim, including for actors Idris Elba, Abraham Attah and director Cory Joji Fukunaga.
The movie generated just $90,777 at the box office.