Matt Grady, Factory
There should be a
separate conversation for Hollywood/big budget films and Indie micro-budget
films concerning Netflix and Theaters. Out of all of the Digital/VOD outlets, I
do believe that only Netflix could negatively effect Box office of
Hollywood level films.
On the indie film
level, releasing films Day/Date isn't such an issue as people have
developed habits on how they watch films and certain people will go to theaters
and others will not, while some will watch on Cable VOD and others on iTunes or
Fandor or Amazon or Netflix and the list goes on...I look at getting movies on
Digital/VOD in a similar way as I look getting vinyl LPs into local record
shops, try to make it available everywhere knowing that some shops/outlets will
only sell a couple copies an others will sell many more with out much crossover
in clientele. Also, since press outlets are only likely to cover a film once,
having a multi-platform release is really best for films, allowing the film
will be available while awareness is at a high.
Drafthouse Films, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
First, let me
preface my statement by saying that I respect Ted Sarandos greatly and am a fan
of what Netflix has built. That said, his comments feel a bit unfair.
He's asking theater owners to open up non-exclusive windows while at the
same time making massive investments on exclusive window content for Netflix.
It's not really kosher to shame the theater industry for clinging to
exclusive windows and then shift massive resources to develop exclusive window
content for Netflix.
That said, I do wish
more theaters would be open to supporting day and day releases for indie
Drafthouse is one of the few exhibitors that supports the idea of day and date
and even ultra-VOD windows. I am a open to this for small movies by small
distributors who don't have the budget for a massive national P&A spend.
We have proven that model can work for the right film. For big
movies with ample production and P&A budgets, however, Netflix doesn't have
the customer base to offer a studio what they would need to sacrifice the
revenue lost from theatrical exhibition.
I think Sarandos knows this
isn't going to happen. It might happen for smaller boutique movies, but
not for THE HOBBIT or THOR.
studios are going to make the decision that works for them and their
investment. With big budget movies being made for the worldwide market
and that worldwide market being dominated by theatrical revenue (especially in
Asia), I think the cinema industry is just fine.
If the studios ever
develop a direct worldwide online subscription service for their content, then
I think Netflix will be facing the same challenges as the cinema owners.
That is a scenario I could foresee sooner than Netflix doing a day and
day release for the next AVENGERS movie.
People have been
forecasting the demise of cinema since the advent of television. It has
been proven time and time again that cinema is not competing against home
entertainment. To paraphrase Ira Deutchman from his 2013 Arthouse Convergence
Keynote address, a person make one critical decision on a Friday night: to stay
in or to go out. Cinema doesn't compete with the "stay in"
options like Netflix, Redbox or even reading a good book. It competes
with dinner, bowling, rolling skating, going to a bar, etc, the "go
out" options. Provided the cinema industry can remain a fun and
compelling option when compared to the "go out" options, we will
remain a healthy industry. Instead of worrying about what Netflix will do
to our industry, I'd rather see NATO and all the big theater chains focus on
our real challenge: make sure people have a fun time at the cinema.Eamonn Bowles, Magnolia Pictures:
Theaters aren't going away and the economy for a large
budget film premiering on Netflix isn’t really practical, so it's kind of a