Video killed the radio star, but Netflix killed Blockbuster, took aim at HBO and is now setting its sights on movie theaters throughout the country.
On Oct. 16, Netflix released its first major feature film, "Beasts of No Nation," a drama that follows an African civil war and one of its child soldiers, Agu. It stars Idris Elba and introduces young actor Abraham Attah. It's already got some buzzing with talk of an Oscar nomination. See the trailer below:
But here's the catch. Not only is the movie available for streaming on the site, Netflix is also releasing the film to theaters. Most major movie theater chains are NOT happy about it.
But why would Netflix bother with a theatrical release? It needs to screen "Beasts" in theaters before or on the same day as its home release to be eligible to be considered for an Academy Award. Netflix originals like "House of Cards," "Orange is the New Black" and the like have already gathered a total of 34 Emmy nominations and two Oscar nominations. "Beasts" could be the latest to bring more hardware to Netflix's trophy case and further lower movie theater attendance.
Essentially it boils down to this - movie theaters have to dedicate time and other resources to screening a film. Most don't see the motivation to screen "Beasts" because it's essentially a waste of money. As the majority of us focus our attention on streaming, why bother going to the theater to watch a movie you can stream at home on Netflix?
Among the theaters not showing "Beasts" are AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmik. However, there are 19 Landmark theaters that will be screening "Beasts" in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Indianapolis, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego, according to Deadline.com.
What do you think? Would you rather watch "Beasts of No Nation" at home or in the theatre? Do theaters have anything to be worried about? Let me know your thoughts by posting in the comments below.