American Theater Association wants Netflix movies to stop being exclusive

The advance of Netflix sowed for years doubts about the future of the big screen, but the giant of the streamingwhich is registering a progressive loss of subscribers, could benefit from the growing return of moviegoers to the seats, according to John Fithian, head of the association that brings together moviegoers. cinemas from USA.

“The doors of the halls of cinema have always been open for movies Netflix for years,” Fithian said in an interview with the AFP during the annual CinemaCon convention, which brings together the greats of the audiovisual industry in Las Vegas.

Fithian, head of the National Association of Theater Owners of state Joined (NATO), said he had “several discussions” with the chief content officer of NetflixTed Sarandos, exhorting him to “see if the productions work in the cinemas“.

“I’m not looking at stock prices. I’m just looking at the data. You can make more money, even as a streamer, if you show your best movies in theaters.” cinema first,” he said.

Releasing films first on the big screen before placing them on content platforms contravenes the successful business model of Netflixwhich put Disney and Warner on the run in the midst of the so-called “war of streaming“.

The platform had revolutionized Hollywood and the way audiences consume movies, spending huge amounts of money to lure stars away from traditional studios and keeping moviegoers on their couches.

But the loss of 200,000 subscribers -0.1% of its total subscriber base- in the first halfannounced last week, unleashed a panic in the stock market and collapsed the papers of Netflix by more than 30% in a single day.

The company announced several new strategies, including cheaper subscriptions with advertising.

Some of the main productions are projected in theaters cinema in a limited way to be able to fight for the Oscars, but the question that arises is if it could consider a greater diffusion on the big screen.

“I think the model of Netflix can evolve in that direction. We hope he does,” Fithian said.

This would allow a film to “stand out more”, considered the executive, who added that “the films that go directly to the services of streaming are lost.”


The atmosphere is livelier at this year’s edition of CinemaCon compared to 2021, which was impacted by one of the variants of the COVID-19 pandemic, which also continued to scare viewers and force studios. to opt for online entertainment and not to watch movies from the seat.

This was recorded even in Fithian’s annual speech, who this week captured headlines by stating that the trend of releasing films simultaneously on digital platforms and in the UK was “dead”. cinemas.

“That didn’t just come out of nowhere, it came out after consulting with a number of our studio partners about what they think about how they’re going to release their movies,” he said.

The big Hollywood studios have recently excited the owners of cinemas by re-implementing the exclusivity window so that movies are projected only on the big screen. However, the current window of 45 days or less is less than the 90-day window of pre-pandemic times.

“The discussion is more about the length of this window, not about whether it should be one option or the other,” Fithian said.


But there are still reasons for concern in the industry. Among them the business model of Amazon-Prime which, according to Fithian, “isn’t trying to make money from movies,” but rather trying to entice consumers to “do their shopping or use their shipping services.”

Amazon-Primea subscription service of the giant Amazon, was made with the historic MGM studio closing an $8.5 billion deal last month.

“If they’re buying companies to pull movies off the cinemas and launching them exclusively on the platforms would be reducing the consumer’s ability to choose,” explained the executive.

Fithian also stated that there are concerns about the Oscars.

Last month AppleTV+ became the first streaming platform to win the statuette for best filmwhile resounding box office hits like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” They were conspicuous by their absence in the main categories.

The audiovisual industry is also attentive to the impact on cinemas of Russia from the embargo imposed by Hollywood in response to the military invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last.

“The market has not been abandoned. It is a pause until there is peace, until the time is right to come back,” Fithian said, describing the past year as “very strange”. (AFP)

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American Theater Association wants Netflix movies to stop being exclusive