El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie will play in theaters for one weekend in October. After being off the air for more than five years, the Breaking Bad story is set to continue with a feature film following Jesse Pinkman after the events of the series finale. Produced under a shroud of secrecy akin to a Marvel or Star Wars movie, El Camino wasn't even officially confirmed until late August, when a teaser trailer revealed it would premiere on Netflix this fall. Other than a very general synopsis, plot details are being kept under lock and key for the time being.
A Breaking Bad movie finding a home on Netflix always made sense, since creator Vince Gilligan credited the streaming service with helping Breaking Bad find a larger audience during its earliest days on the air. But a lot's changed with Netflix in the years since Breaking Bad got big, and they now look to give their original films theatrical runs. Even though Breaking Bad molded its legacy on the small screen, El Camino will be getting a short play in multiplexes next month.
According to EW, El Camino will be in select theaters for a single weekend, October 11 - 13. It will be available to stream on Netflix October 11, and the plan is for it to air on AMC at some point in the future. People interested can purchase tickets by visiting elcaminobreakingbadmovie.com.
Netflix has never been concerned about the box office performance of their original movies, and El Camino will be no exception. That it's streaming the same day it opens in theaters (and only staying on the big screen for one weekend) means this is just a novelty event designed to give fans a special experience if they so choose. Breaking Bad always was a very cinematic TV series in regards to its production values and shot composition, so it should be a treat to see El Camino in theaters. Even though fans will be able to watch the movie from home immediately, Netflix must feel there's some interest in theatrical screenings, or else they wouldn't pay for limited distribution. It'll be interesting to see what the turnout for these showings is.
The one-weekend window prevents El Camino from qualifying for the Oscars this year. Per Academy guidelines, a film must play for at least one full week in Los Angeles County to be eligible. It would have been fun if Aaron Paul, who won three Primetime Emmys during his time on Breaking Bad, found his way into the always-crowded Best Actor race for his career-defining role, but Netflix already has a stacked slate of Oscar contenders to push this year (Marriage Story, The Irishman). Maybe El Camino can find itself in the running for a TV Movie Emmy instead.