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article imageNetflix was in talks to buy theaters to screen its films

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 20, 2018 in Technology
Netflix was considering to make a bold move. The streaming service reportedly was in talks to buy Landmark Theaters, in order to screen its films.
Netflix reportedly considered making a big move to purchase theaters, in an effort to screen its films. It was in talks to buy Mark Cuban's Landmark Theaters, but they backed out due to costs, as indicated in an article in the Los Angeles Times.
According to an article in Variety, the streaming service was "flirting" with "getting into the theatrical exhibition space," in order to qualify its films for awards consideration purposes (such as Oscars, Emmy and Golden Globes).
While the sources may indicate that Netflix killed the deal, it is important to note how the streaming service could impact the entertainment business, from a digital transformation standpoint in the future. Netflix which has approximately 125 million subscribers, which ranks it ahead of its competitor such an Amazon (which has almost 100 million total Amazon Prime subscribers), and Hulu. At the same time though, Netflix has yet to garner the respect from film establishments and major theater chains, so that puts them at a slight disadvantage.
Netflix was completely shout out of this year's Cannes Film Festival. The artistic director of the festival had implemented a rule that required all of the films to be screened in French theaters, in an effort to be eligible for the prestigious Palme d'Or award, which is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Netflix films The Meyerowitz Stories and Ojka were screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and they received negative feedback from the audiences, resulting in major disapproval, so Netflix was banned from competing at the festival, which prompted them to withdraw.
The ownership of a theater chain might make it simpler for Netflix to qualify for major awards, but they also require that films see a theatrical release for eligibility purposes. The majority of theaters will not carry a motion picture without an exclusive theatrical window, and rightfully so.
On March 4, 2018, at the 90th Academy Awards, Icarus took home the Oscar for "Best Documentary Feature," which gave Netflix its first feature Oscar win. A Bryan Fogel-directed documentary, Icarus made its debut on Netflix and in theaters.
The streaming service Netflix had no official comments on any of these aforementioned reports.
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