HOLLYWOOD—Movie theaters earlier this month were fuming about the first original feature film from Netflix, “Beasts of No Nation,” saying that they would refuse to play the movie in their theaters. Perhaps you might have thought it was an overreaction, but less than two weeks after the film’s release, we now know why the theaters were so terrified.
It was confirmed by the Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos that “Beasts of Nation” had already been viewed over 3 million times in the US alone. For Netflix, it’s a sign that subscribers are going to give anything the company puts out a shot. Netflix isn’t content to just make great original TV series, they also want to make their own feature films. According to published reports, Netflix’s approach to movie releases is that the company plans a special launch for future movies as well-making it available simultaneously both via Netflix and in cinemas.
Netflix partnered with the Weinstein Company for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend,” a sequel to the 2000 martial arts movie that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The movie launched on Netflix and in IMAX theaters back in August. Certainly a bold movie for the company, and something the major players in the business would not dream of doing just yet. The movie-going experience is evolving profoundly and quickly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that bold movement.
The film “Beasts of No Nation,” directed by Cary Jojo Fukunaga, is about a young boy who survives as his country goes through a horrific war. Based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala, the film was shot in Ghana, and stars Idris Elba, Ama K. Abebrese, Abraham Attah, Grace Nortey, David Dontoh, and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe. Netflix bought the worldwide distribution rights for an estimated $12 million.
The film was simultaneously released theatrically and online through its subscription video on demand service on October 16, with Bleecker Street handling the theatrical release. Considering the online release, a violation of the traditional release of a 90-day release window of exclusivity to theatres, AMC Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark, and Regal Entertainment – four of the largest theatre chains in the United States – announced that they would boycott the film. This effectively caused the film to have a limited release to smaller and independent theaters. In the United Kingdom, the film was released on the same day in Curzon Cinemas.
On November 4, the film ‘Brooklyn” will be released. It is set in 1950s Ireland and Brooklyn, New York, young Ellis Lacet, has to choose between two men and two countries. Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired the distribution rights to the movie at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, with a record-deal of $9 million. Author Nick Horny adapted the novel Brooklyn by Colm Toibin for the big screen.
Two days later, the film “Spectre” will be released in theaters. Sam Mendes is back in the director’s chair, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as 007 for the fourth time. The title stands for Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. It’s a fictional global criminal syndicate and terrorist organization, led by supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who first appeared in the novel “Thunderball,” and in the film “Dr. No” in 1962.
On November 13, the movie “The 33,” based on the real-life event of a gold and copper mine collapse which traps 33 miners underground for 69 days will be released.
November 20 sees the release of “Carol,” starring Cate Blanchett. The movie is set in 1950s New York, where a department store clerk dreams of a better life and falls for an older, married woman. The movie is directed by Todd Haynes and based n the novel by Patricia Highsmith.
“The Night Before” will be released on November 25 starring Lizzy Caplan, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie. The comedy is set in New York City where three friends gather for their annual tradition of Christmas Eve debauchery.
On Black Friday, November 27, if you want to take a break from shopping, the movie “The Danish Girl,” will be released. A number of actresses has been linked to the project, including Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron and Rachel Weisz. None of them made the cut and newcomer Alicia Vikander got the role as Gerda Wegener.
Rose’s Scoop: The 16-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes is burning up the charts with his hit “Stitches.” The Portuguese cutie hit it big on Vine and YouTube and the rest is history.