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NetFlix Continues Its Takeover, Will Start Releasing Straight-To-Netlfix Feature Films (And Theaters are PISSED)

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Film Drunk – As part of the constant quest to find innovative movie release strategies, Netflix has announced that they’ll be releasing their first feature film, a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, to hit Netflix and IMAX theaters simultaneously. A lot of movies the size of this one (ie, sub-mainstream) have been doing VOD releases, but this is the first that will be free with a Netflix subscription. Netflix contracted with The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein to release its first major feature film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend. Sort of a sequel to the Ang Lee-directed 2000 martial arts epic that won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, the film will premiere exclusively on Netflix, and it will simultaneously have a berth in IMAX theaters. The release is August 28, 2015. Yuen Wo-Ping is directing a script by John Fusco, and Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen star. Lee is not involved in this, and the connective tissue is the source material based on the Crane-Iron Pentalogy by Wang Du Lu. [Deadline] It’s an interesting experiment, but of course one thing theater chains are never thrilled about is people experimenting with their business model, dying though it may be. Regal, Carmike, and Cinemark, three of the four largest theater chains, have all vowed not to play the film in their theaters. “While a home video release may be simultaneously performing in certain IMAX locations, at Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3-inch wide on a smart phone,” said Russ Nunley. “We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear.”

 

I love blogging stories about this because I love seeing smart, innovative companies like Netflix destroy old business models (RIP Blockbuster, you were cool). Let’s just take an informal vote: What do you prefer- watching a movie from the comfort of your couch, being able to pause it whenever you want, eating whatever you want, and shitting whenever you want… or do you prefer dealing with crying babies and 10 dollar pupcorns and having your seat kicked the whole time? I vote the first choice. Going to the movies fucking blows most of the time. So of course movie theater owners are freaking out about Netflix realizing the theater industry is a dying model. Why change and adapt to the times when you can whine about it instead? The arrogance of that Ross Nunley guy is amazing. He really thinks there is a magical “movie theater experience” people are dying for. I will say every so often seeing a move on the big screen with the enhanced sound is great. But most movies just aren’t worth the hassle or the price. I hope this becomes a trend. We already have had straight to Netflix TV series succeed, would love if a major director/producer goes straight to Netflix too. Crush the current theater model into a pulp until they have to stop being cash sucking whores.