Netflix Not Replacing Theater, Yet

What do you do when you’re relaxed in the comfort of your home, and you want to watch a movie? Currently, Netflix is one of, if not, the place for you. Netflix has harvested a large library of films and TV shows for digital streaming on everyday-life’s common devices. But how far is Netflix willing to go? Based on recent news, could Netflix take over how you watch films entirely? Well, the potential is there, but it won’t happen instantly.

Netflix has recently formed two new deals, which involve Adam Sandler and the IMAX corporation, respectively. Their first deal involves the production of four films to star Adam Sandler, which will stream exclusively on Netflix. Netflix’s other deal, with IMAX, will allow the release of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend on both IMAX screens and the streaming website in August 2015.

These deals are borrowing Hollywood’s tools in order to further advance into the film industry, as theater corporations and Hollywood reps are beginning to believe that Netflix can take over. However, the legitimate case is that Netflix is simply putting their money where their mouth is. Businesses experimenting and advancing is nothing more than the norm, and that’s what these deals Netflix formed are. It’s not a big deal.

Netflix’s deal with IMAX isn’t a big deal either, looking at it from a domination standpoint. Crouching Tiger is not necessarily a huge film, and will probably appeal towards its specific target audience. Not to have a condescending tone towards the production, but at the same time, it’s not big enough to have a huge effect on the industry. The only way this type of deal would have a major effect on the film industry is if the deal involved a major blockbuster. Theaters wouldn’t be able to fight back, unlike the way they currently are. Regal Cinemas, one of the theater chains revolting against Netflix, stated, “While a homevideo release may be simultaneously performing in certain IMAX locations, at Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3-inch wide on a smart phone. We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear.” Like Regal, Carmike, and other theater chains, as well as their executives, are speaking out against this deal.

Adam Sandler’s partnership with Netflix is a little more concerning, but it won’t necessarily hurt the theater. A lot of Sandler’s recent films have not been as positively rated by critics & audiences alike (the last good Adam Sandler movie I saw was Hotel Transylvania, and he was just a cartoon Dracula – that’s saying something). If any sort of concern was to come up, it’d be the possibility of more actors and actresses beginning to going to Netflix to make their films. However, Netflix is not in the state where they can support giant budget films. Bigger theater corporations are going to still be around because of that. And with those companies being pro-theater (especially with Warner Bros. recently shutting the door on Sandler and The Ridiculous Six), theaters are for sure staying around in long-run.

As I mentioned before, in order to completely destroy the cinema, Netflix would need something huge. And I mean huge. Their recent deals with IMAX and Adam Sandler aren’t necessities for either of us, but it’s important to note that they are experiments for the company. The theater will stay around in the long-run. However, if Netflix keeps going with these types of deals (and gets into the major business with, say, Marvel), then there will be some sort of dramatic change in the way  you watch movies. For now, though, Netflix isn’t killing theaters.

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