Netflix signs deal with iPic to screen its original movies the same day they go online


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Netflix has signed a deal with upscale theater-chain iPic Entertainment to simultaneously screen its original movies in theaters the same day that they appear on the streaming service. This isn’t Netflix’s first experiment with showing its original movies in theaters, but it’s their biggest such effort yet. The deal will cover 10 original movies to begin with on iPic’s New York and LA theaters — war thriller The Siege of Jadotville will kick things off this Friday.

The agreement is a significant run against long-standing Hollywood business practices, where cinemas get the exclusive rights to show new movies before they become available for home viewing. Netflix contends that the traditional release window is out of step with changing consumer habits, but not everyone is pleased with this deal.

Particularly, the National Association of Theatre Owners has sent out a public statement claiming that “the film industry's success is a direct result of a highly successful collaboration between film makers, distributors and exhibitors”, and that “Simultaneous release, in practice, has reduced both theatrical and home revenues when it has been tried.”

iPic on the other hand wants to prove that its movie going experience is enticing enough to get people into their theaters, even if the movies are available online for much cheaper. The relatively small theater-chain focuses on an upscale experience complete with fine food, alcohol and special seating. Tickets can cost as much as $30 per person.

A theatrical presence will help Netflix's original movies gain extra promotion and is important for the company’s awards ambitions. Films need to play in Los Angeles and New York theaters for a minimum of a week in order to be considered for an Oscar.

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Posts: 1,732   +988
Even if they get movies playing in New York and San Francisco long enough to qualify for an Oscar, they still won't one. Not because their content isn't good enough - it is, imo - but simply because Netflix keeps snubbing Hollywood with moves just like this one.


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Fortunately for me I don't live in New York or San Francisco... Los Angeles so I don't even have to be bothered by this idea, $30 to see something I can watch for near free on Netflix, I don't think so. I already find the price to go see a movie stupidly high when you factor in a drink and a snack, the ladder being the primary reason I've been smuggling in food and drink for years. Now with the advent of the near mandatory 3D BS fad that just won't die raising prices, likely the only reason it has stuck around so long, going to the movies is not only far too expensive but also gives you eye strain while sitting in cheap old seats that are missing arm rests... I'll just watch them in my home theater thank you very much.


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Perhaps iPic is not doing as well as some might think, and this represents another source of revenue for them.

With more than one theater in our area installing nice reclining chairs, to me it is obvious that the theater industry is doing its best to stay alive. Even though those seats take more space, it is probably more lucrative for a theater to install those seats as they can then charge more per person. At one theater where they have loungers, there have rarely been empty seats when I have gone to a movie vs the conventional theater with standard seating where many seats are empty. The luxury seat theater probably does not get more people per screening, but they can charge quite a bit more per ticket.

Most people can afford big screen TVs these days, and that was one draw that theaters used to have an exclusive on. Not so much now. Some theaters have excellent sound systems, but good sound systems are also more affordable these days. Plus in a home theater you don't have to deal with crowds, noise, lines, and you can pause the movie when you want and not miss any of it for any reason. All these reasons are part of why I rarely see a movie in the theater anymore. It will be interesting to see where things go.