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Netflix COO is Optimistic About Netflix Movies Having More Theatrical Releases

Julian Larach

At the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Netflix COO & CPO Greg Peters voiced that Netflix is “enthusiastic to see a shift in enabling more and more [theatrical parternships] and other entertainment options out there.” He recognizes that the consumer experience in a movie theater is much different and more community-oriented than viewing television programming at home, but it comes down to the consumer’s choice.

Theatrical releases are not a new concept for Netflix. The streaming platform has had limited-time theater premieres for a variety of movies such as ‘The Laundromat’ and ‘The Irishman,’ although they have been shown only at select movie theaters.

As the country starts to slowly open up after a rough year in a worldwide pandemic, Peters teases the prospect of more widely available Netflix movie premieres in theaters. “I’m optimistic because it’s what consumers want,” he says, “It’s eventually where things go.”

The company has wanted to debut movies in theaters in the past, but got push back from theater owners due to their desire for a short window. Now with HBO Max releasing same day as theaters, NBCU dropping the window to just three weekends, and Paramount to just 30-45 days – Netflix may finally be able to debut their films in theaters.

During their Q4 Earnings Call, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said, “We’ve never had any issue with movies being in theaters. Our biggest issue has been that you had to commit to this very long window of exclusivity to get access to any theaters,” co-CEO Ted Sarandos stated. “That’s been the biggest challenge. So if those windows are going to collapse and we’d have easier access to films to show our films in theaters, I’d love to have consumers be able to make the choice between seeing it out or seeing it at home, which is becoming the norm during COVID, certainly. And we’ll see how much that sticks.”

Netflix is creating content at a rapid pace – releasing a new movie almost every week.

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