Netflix just signed a 10 picture deal with luxury theater chain iPic Entertainment to screen their original movies in theaters, the same day they premiere on the SVOD service. What once took a 6-12 month ‘window’ for a theatrical movie to reach home viewing, is now instantaneous.
These movies will play in iPic’s LA and NYC theaters, with a possible wider release to their other 13 locations. Financial terms have not been disclosed, but the usual split between a studio and a US theater chain is 55/45, with 55% of box office receipts going to the studio.
This Friday, The Siege of Jadotville will be the first movie to launch under the deal.
The second movie will be the comedy, Mascots, which premieres next week.
The question many may ask is, why do the deal?
With only 15 locations, compared to the 564 that Regal has, it’s doubtful that this was done purely for money. And even though their subscriber growth is slowing, it’s doubtful this will significantly reverse that trend.
Well, it may have to do with the Oscar Rules of Eligibility, in that a movie must be shown in Los Angeles County and a documentary must be shown in both LA and NYC for it to be eligible.
Could Netflix be angling for a little gold statue? I wouldn’t bet against it.