Netflix may buy theaters so their movies can easily qualify for Oscars. It's no secret that Netflix is making an aggressive push with their original content. Originally holding a library well split with original and familiar content, the streaming giant continues to lean more on their own creations. They reportedly have billions to spend to continue upping their output. While the quality of most of their movies has yet to really impress, Netflix keeps trying to break the way Hollywood is run - especially when it comes to awards consideration.
The Academy has very strict rules when it comes to being eligible for an Oscar nomination. The current rules demand a movie must be shown in at least one theater in Los Angeles and New York for one week. However, thanks to Netflix's release strategy, most theaters have been reluctant to screen their movies for such a short amount of time. As it turns out, Netflix's solution may be to just buy a theater.
The LA Times reports that Netflix has and is considering buying a theater chain to make it much simpler for their movies to be Oscar eligible. The report states that Netflix previously considered acquiring Landmark Theatres, but moved on from that idea after deeming the price too high. While a deal couldn't be reached for Landmark, a similar sized and positioned theater chain purchase is still possible.
If Netflix is able to find a theater chain to acquire, it will be a huge addition to their business. There's no telling what exactly a Netflix theater would look like or even show, but it'd give customers the option to see some of these films on the big screen. Some of their more ambitious projects, like Bright, could've generated some interest. It'd even provide select titles to produce box office receipts and further revenue.
Just the possibility of Netflix titles being shown in cinemas will help change the perception of Netflix movies overall. There's many, including Steven Spielberg, who think Netflix movies are somehow lesser than movies made for and released in theaters. If a (limited) theatrical release is on the table in the future, Netflix could draw interest from even more high profile creators. They're already in business with David Ayer, Matt Reeves, Adam Sandler, David Mackenzie, Martin Scorsese, and more.
Still, the option of some movies being shown in theaters to qualify for Oscars is dependent on the movies actually being good enough to warrant consideration. Netflix did receive its first Oscar nomination with Mudbound, but only a select group of titles like Okja or Beasts of No Nation can rival its quality. But if Netflix knows they can easily make any content awards eligible, then maybe it'll drive interest in creating awards-level content.
Source: LA Times