Kino Lorber Sets DVD Release Date for ‘Roma’-like ‘The Chambermaid’

Art house supplier Kino Lorber has set an Oct. 22 release date for The Chambermaid, a 2018 Mexican drama directed by Lila Avilés and starring Gabriela Cartol and Teresa Sánchez.

The film will be available on DVD only at a suggested retail price of $29.95.

Mexico’s official submission to the 2020 Academy Awards, The Chambermaid follows the monotonous life of Eve (Cartol), a young woman working in one of Mexico City’s posh hotels. Motivated to do better for herself and her four-year-old son, she enrolls in the hotel’s higher education program to help improve her life and move up the ranks.

The Chambermaid is set in the same city, and follows a similar theme, as Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which received ten nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, winning for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Cinematography and Best Director.

The Chambermaid grossed over $80,000 domestically and another $79,000 internationally.

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Netflix’s ‘Irishman’ Skipping Major Theatrical Run

Netflix’s big budget original movie The Irishman reportedly will not have a major theatrical run upon its November release.

The Martin Scorsese-directed gangster movie features multiple Oscar winners, including Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, among others.

Netflix is eyeing the film for major industry awards, which require a theatrical screening to be considered for nomination.

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The SVOD pioneer continues to maintain a business model that makes original movies available for streaming concurrent with any theatrical run.

To abide by the rules, Netflix has offered The Irishman to theaters for an exclusive 27-day window ahead of streaming, beginning Nov. 1.

But major chains such as AMC, Regal and Landmark insist they have exclusive rights to any theatrical release for 90 days.

As a result, Netflix will screen the film at select indie theaters nationwide — a path the service took when debuting  last year’s Oscar-winning movie Roma from director Alfonso Cuaron.

 

Imax Open to Screening Netflix Movies if Streamer Expands Theatrical Window

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.

 

 

Netflix & Co. Push Back in Post-Oscar Theatrical Window Dispute

The Academy Awards may be over, but that hasn’t stopped the controversy surrounding Netflix’s 10 Oscar nominations (and three wins) for original movie Roma, whose release didn’t adhere to the traditional 90-day theatrical window.

Netflix, per chief content officer Ted Sarandos’ longstanding pledge to release movies globally via streaming concurrent with theatrical distribution, has run afoul of exhibitors and industry awards.

Director Steven Spielberg, a senior member of the Academy board, is reportedly looking to have Netflix’s movies bypassed for future consideration unless the service honors the window. Spielberg believes Netflix’s films should be reserved for TV-based Emmy Awards.

“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” a spokesperson from Spielberg’s Amblin production company told CNBC. “He’ll be happy if the others will join [his campaign] when that comes up [at the Academy Board of Governors meeting].”

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British exhibitor Cineworld – the second-largest chain in the world – withdrew its support for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts after the organization awarded Roma with its Best Film honor.

Netflix, March 3 in a social media post, reiterated its support for theatrical distribution – and streaming.

“We love cinema. Here are some things we also love:

Access for people who can’t always afford or live in towns without theaters. Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time. Giving filmmakers more ways to share art.

These things are not mutually exclusive.”

Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay (13th) whose upcoming documentary about the Central Park Five – When They See Us– begins streaming on Netflix in May, defended the service’s strategy.

DuVernay contends the SVOD pioneer affords lower profile films wider distribution through streaming than is available theatrically.

“This is a Board of Governors meeting,” DuVernay said in a tweet directed to board members. “And regular branch members can’t be there. But I hope … that you’ll have filmmakers in the room or read statements from directors like me who feel differently.”

Netflix’s next big Awards movie – The Irishman – from director Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, among others, begins streaming later this year.

 

 

 

Can Netflix Ever Win a Best Picture Oscar?

NEWS ANALYSIS — Netflix original movie Roma won three Oscars, including Best Foreign-Language Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography. But the black-and-white Mexican drama with 10 Oscar nominations had been a heavy favorite for Best Picture, which instead went to Green Book.

Did Netflix’s controversial strategy offering original movies on its service globally concurrent with any theatrical release turn off traditional voters?

Netflix reportedly spent $30 million marketing the $15 million movie during the just-concluded industry awards season. The goal clearly was a Best Picture Oscar.

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The SVOD pioneer, which has an office in Beverly Hills, in addition to a production studio, had canvassed Greater L.A. with billboards and related signage where most of the 7,000 members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reside.

While Roma’s qualifications for Best Picture aren’t in question (the film was nominated for the category, after all), industry politics undoubtedly played a role in the final outcome — as they do for any nominee.

Director Steven Spielberg, speaking at Cinema Audio Society prior to the Oscars, lamented rewarding a film with scant theatrical release.

“I hope all of us really continue to believe that the greatest contributions we can make as filmmakers is to give audiences the motion picture theatrical experience. I’m a firm believer that movie theatres need to be around forever,” Spielberg said, as reported by The Telegraph.

Indeed, Netflix made sure to highlight the film’s theatrical release in its recent shareholder letter.

Roma is still being exhibited in theaters and has played on over 900 unique screens around the world, including some special 70mm format presentations,” CEO Reed Hastings wrote. “People love films … at home ​and in theaters.”

Michael Pachter, media analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, downplayed politics, saying Roma’s best foreign language film win underscored the Academy’s reluctance awarding Best Picture status upon a non-English film.

“I suppose [2011 Best Picture] The Artist was technically a foreign film,” he said. “They just need a movie that is worthy of the award. Netflix will pay up for something like the next CrashArgo or 12 Years a Slave and will win one eventually.”

‘Green Book,’ ‘Roma,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Black Panther’ Lead Oscar Winners

The big story of the 91st Academy Awards Feb. 24 is that Hollywood isn’t quite ready to crown Netflix with its highest honor just yet, as another traditional studio film, Universal Pictures’ Green Book, earned the Oscar for Best Picture from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Green Book, which is available now for digital download and will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD March 12, also earned Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali (his second win in the category after 2016’s Moonlight).

Many prognosticators had pegged Netflix’s Roma as the favorite for Best Picture, but Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical reflection of his childhood in Mexico City still ended up with three historic Oscars. Cuarón won for both Best Director and Best Cinematography, the first individual to win both awards. Cuarón also accepted Roma’s award for Best Foreign-Language Film, though technically the win is attributed to the home country — in this case, Mexico, the first film for the country in the category.

Universal’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic of the rock band Queen, rode its musical stylings to four Oscars, with Best Actor Rami Malek leading the way with his performance as Freddie Mercury. The film also won for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, while John Ottman won his first Oscar for Best Film Editing. The film is available now on disc and digital.

Meanwhile, the ceremony took on a bit of a comic book flair, as Marvel’s Black Panther set a new mark for most Oscar wins by a superhero movie, with three, passing the two won by 2008’s The Dark Knight and 2004’s The Incredibles. The film, available now on disc and digital from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, won for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Original Score. The wins represent the first Oscars for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which arrives digitally Feb. 26 and on Blu-ray and DVD March 19, won for Best Animated Feature.

Pixar’s Bao, included with Disney’s home video release of Disney’s Incredibles 2, won for Best Animated Short.

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Best Actress went to Olivia Colman for The Favourite, which is available now digitally and on Blu-ray and DVD March 5. Colman, who plays Queen Anne in the film, will play Elizabeth II in the upcoming third season of “The Crown” on Netflix.

Best Supporting Actress went to Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, which arrives digitally March 12 and on Blu-ray and DVD March 26.

Best Documentary Feature went to Free Solo, which is available for digital download now and arrives on DVD March 5 from National Geographic. The film chronicles a rock climber’s attempt to summit Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan without equipment.

Spike Lee won his first Oscar as part of the writing team for BlackKklansman, which won Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is available now digitally and on disc from Universal.

A complete list of winners is available here.

Netflix’s ‘Roma’ Big Winner at 2019 BAFTA Awards

Heading into the Oscars, Netflix original movie Roma emerged the big winner at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts 2019 EE British Academy Film Awards held Feb. 10 in London.

The black-and-white film won awards for Best Film, Director, Cinematography and Film Not in the English Language. Director Alfonso Cuarón won in each of these categories as well.

Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical movie about growing up in Mexico has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards in the United States.

Separately, Oscar nominee The Favourite was named Outstanding British Film, with Olivia Colman receiving the BAFTA for Leading Actress, Rachel Weisz taking Supporting Actress and Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara winning Original Screenplay. Sandy Powell won Costume Design, Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton won Production Design and Nadia Stacey won Make Up & Hair.

Colman has assumed the role of Queen Elizabeth II (from Claire Foy) for the upcoming third season of Netflix original series “The Crown.”

Meanwhile, Rami Malik won Leading Actor playing the late Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody; the film also won the award for Sound.

Supporting Actor went to Mahershala Ali for Green Book; BlacKkKlansman won Adapted Screenplay. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took the award for Animated Film, and Documentary was won by Free Solo.

A Star Is Born won Original Music and Vice took the BAFTA for Editing. Black Panther received the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.

 

 

 

Netflix’s ‘Roma’ Leads Oscar Nominations

The critically acclaimed film Roma from director Alfonso Cuarón scored a major victory in Netflix’s efforts to be taken seriously as a movie-distribution outlet, securing 10 Oscar nominations.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 91st Academy Awards Jan. 22. Roma tied with Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite, which also had 10 nominations.

Roma is available now for viewing on the SVOD service, having qualified for the Oscars with a brief theatrical run at the end of 2018. Its nominations include Best Picture, Best Foreign-Language Film (representing Mexico), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for Yalitza Aparicio, Best Supporting Actress for Marina de Tavira, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Its 10 nominations tie it with 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for most nominations by a foreign-language film.

Another Netflix-distributed film, the Coen Bros.’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, earned three nominations, including adapted screenplay, original song for “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” and costume design.

The Favourite earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress for Olivia Colman (who takes over as Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s “The Crown” later this year), Best Supporting Actress for Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, Best Director for Yorgos Lanthimos, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design.

An aggressive marketing push from Walt Disney Studios helped secure seven nominations for Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, including for Best Picture, the first comic-book based superhero film to earn such an honor (a decade after the snub of The Dark Knight supposedly prompted the Academy to increase the Best Picture field from five nominees to up to as many as 10 – there were eight this year). Black Panther also earned noms for Best Original Score, Best Original Song for “All the Stars,” Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. The film is readily available through digital channels and on Blu-ray and DVD. It was the No. 3-selling disc of 2018, according to the NPD Group.

And in a bit of a double whammy for comic book movies, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse earned a nomination for Best Animated Feature, alongside Disney’s Incredibles 2 (available now on disc and digital) and Ralph Breaks the Internet (available digitally Feb. 12 and on disc Feb. 26), Fox’s Isle of Dogs (available now on disc and digital), and Gkids’ Mirai.

Other Best Picture nominees include Universal’s BlackKklansman (available on disc and digital), which earned six nominations; Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody (on digital now, disc Feb. 12), which earned five noms, including Best Actor for Rami Malek; Universal’s Green Book (on digital Feb. 19, disc March 15), which earned five noms; Warner’s A Star Is Born (available now digitally, on disc Feb. 19), which earned eight noms, including Best Original Song for “Shallow”; and Annapurna’s Vice.

Like Roma, Cold War also was nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film, representing Poland, and Best Director, for Paweł Pawlikowski, marking the first time two foreign-language nominees were also nominated in the directing category. The other foreign-language nominees were Lebanon’s Caparnaum, Germany’s Never Look Away and Japan’s Shoplifters (due on Disc and Digital Feb. 12 from Magnolia Home Entertainment).

The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. A full list of nominees is available at Oscars.com.

SVOD Contenders Score Big at 2019 Golden Globes

TV shows and movies from subscription streaming services made a big showing at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jan. 6.

Programming available through SVOD services won a total of seven trophies, with two each coming from Netflix’s Roma and “The Kominsky Method.”

Roma won for Best Foreign-Language Film (representing Mexico) and Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón. Netflix has been pushing the film’s awards chances through a limited theatrical release in addition to its availability through the service.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” won Best TV Series — Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy for Michael Douglas.

BBC’s “Bodyguard,” available through Netflix in the United States, won Best Actor in a Television Series — Drama for Richard Madden.

Amazon Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won Best Actress in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy for Rachel Brosnahan. And the BBC’s A Very English Scandal, available through Amazon in America, won Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film for Ben Whishaw.

Universal’s Green Book led all winners with three trophies, including Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for Mahershala Ali, and Best Screenplay.

Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Motion Picture — Drama and Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama for Rami Malek. Fox releases the musical biopic digitally Jan. 22, followed by a Feb. 12 release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The Wife won Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama for Glenn Close. Sony Pictures releases the film digitally Jan. 22, and on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 29.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won Best Animated Feature Film.

Warner’s A Star Is Born, due digitally Jan. 15, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Blu-ray Feb. 19, won Best Original Song for “Shallow.”

The Neil Armstrong biopic First Man won Best Original Score for Justin Hurwitz. The film is due on digital Jan. 8, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Jan. 22 from Universal Pictures.

Fox’s The Favourite won Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy for Olivia Colman, while Annapurna’s Vice won Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy for Christian Bale, and If Beal Street Could Talk won Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Regina King.

In the TV categories, FX’s “The Americans” won Best Television Series — Drama. All six seasons are available on DVD from Fox.

FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story won Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Film for Darren Criss. The miniseries will be available on Netflix starting Jan. 17.

The BBC’s “Killing Eve” won Best Actress in a Television Series — Drama for Sandra Oh. The first season is now available on DVD and Blu-ray; season two arrives April 7 on BBC America.

HBO’s Sharp Objects, available now on Blu-ray and DVD, won Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film for Patricia Clarkson.

Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora won Best Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film for Patricia Arquette.

Theater Group: Netflix Doesn’t Hurt Exhibitors

Netflix’s adamant strategy to release original feature films concurrent with theatrical distribution is not hurting exhibitor business, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.

In fact, data from a survey of 1,400 respondents conducted by Ernst & Young found consumers of over-the-top video services are frequent moviegoers – well above non-streamers.

Respondents who watched at least one theatrical release in 2017, also streamed at least one hour of video per week. The ratio increased among avid moviegoers. Indeed, 33% of respondents who watched nine movies in the theater, also streamed at least 15 hours video per week.

“People who consume a lot of content do so across multiple platforms,” NATO spokesperson John Fithian wrote in a recent blog post. “The movie industry is not a zero-sum game.”

Fithian said it could be argued that Netflix undermines broadcast television and transactional VOD markets. Streaming services, Fithian said, can work “hand-in-hand” with exhibitors.

He cited Amazon’s decision to adhere to the tradition 90-day theatrical window for original movies, Manchester by The Sea and The Big Sick– the former generating Amazon industry awards (Best Actor for Casey Affleck and Best Screenplay for director Kenneth Lonergan in Manchester) attention, in addition to domestic box office tallies of $48 million and $43 million, respectively.

Fithian argues Netflix is leaving money on the table bypassing theaters, which have largely boycotted the SVOD pioneer’s movies due to its distribution edict.

Netflix has reversed course this year on original movies Roma and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs– titles the streaming service is heavily lobbying for Oscar contention in 2019 – reportedly at the behest of directors Alfonso Cuarón and Joel and Ethan Coen.

Both titles have received limited exclusive theatrical distribution in an effort to satisfy Academy Awards voters.

NATO cited distributor Neon, which last year reportedly turned down $12 million from Netflix to release I, Tonya in theaters. The film went on to generate Oscar nominations, including Best Supporting Actress win for Alison Janney and sell $30 million in domestic movie tickets.

“The transactional value for film is diminished [by Netflix’s model],” Neon founder Tom Quinn told IndieWire. “It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, you can dip in and out, and if you don’t like a movie, you move on.”

NATO’s Fithian said exhibitors would welcome Netflix into the foldif it respected the theatrical window.

“Filmmakers and movie lovers will appreciate Netflix so much more,” he said.