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Netflix (NFLX) May Release The Irishman in IMAX Theaters

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Per a CNBC report, Netflix NFLX may release The Irishman in IMAX IMAX theaters. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film is anticipated to have a wide theatrical release before it is made available on the streaming giant’s platform.

Netflix is in active discussions regarding the terms and the timeframe of the theatrical window as Scorsese wants the film to have a wide release, per THR.

Netflix is increasingly focusing on the movie’s theatrical release as it faced criticism and pressure for keeping its theatrical window too short for Roma. Reportedly, a group of Academy members led by Steven Spielberg are looking to bring a move that will require any film to have a theatrical window of at least four weeks to qualify for Oscars.

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM) | Netflix, Inc. Quote


Benefits of a Theatrical Release

Netflix is expected to attract filmmakers by increasing theatrical releases as they provide a wider exposure. Notably, the company was turned down by director Jon M. Chu for his movie Crazy Rich Asians as the film was not given a green signal for theatrical release. Chu chose AT&T’s T Warner Bros. even though Netflix’s offer was far more attractive, per Business Insider.

Netflix found success with Roma and Bird Box, which hit the theaters first and were later released on the streaming platform. At this year’s Golden Globes, Roma won the award for best foreign-language film. Additionally, Alfonso Cuaron won the best director award for the movie.

Moreover, Bird Box recorded highest viewership for any movie in the seven-day period. Per Netflix, more than 45 million users viewed the film in the first week (Dec 21-27) of its release.

Netflix is looking to release The Highwaymen in theaters on Mar 15 before its Mar 29 release on the streaming platform. Additionally, The Laundromat, The King, The Last Thing He Wanted and The Pope are some of the upcoming Netflix movies that will have theatrical releases first.

Intensifying Competition in Streaming Space

Competition is intensifying in the streaming space as media, tech and telecom companies like AT&T, Disney DIS and Apple are gearing up to unveil their streaming services.

The upcoming service Disney+ is estimated to on-board 160 million subscribers worldwide, per CNBC, owing to its strong content slate, brand name and ability to market the service.

Moreover, Apple has been on a spending spree to scoop up original TV and film content, featuring some of the biggest directors and actors in Hollywood.

Nevertheless, Netflix’s aggressive investment in original content is expected to give it an edge and expand its subscriber base. Notably, Netflix added 8.84 million subscribers in fourth-quarter 2018, bringing the total to 139.26 million paid subscribers globally, up 25.9% year over year.

Moreover, improved theatrical releases will help Netflix avoid criticism during Academy awards nominations. The company’s content is expected to get more exposure owing to theatrical releases, which is a positive.

Netflix currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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