Showbiz Sandbox 252: Crouching Netflix, Hidden IMAX and the Myth of Broken Release Windows

October 6, 2014

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The Weinstein Co. stunned the entertainment industry last week by announcing they would distribute the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously on Netflix and IMAX. As Brooks Barnes of the New York Times explains, the plan only has one problem; movie theaters refuse to show any film that opens day-and-date on home video or video-on-demand. This begs the question, if a movie never opens theatrically, was it’s release window really broken?

Netflix continued to make additional headlines later in the week by signing a deal with actor Adam Sandler to make four original movies for the streaming service. We discuss whether Netflix is changing the Hollywood paradigm or simply becoming one more buyer of premium content.

While Netflix is leaning into the future, director Christopher Nolan is taking a more old fashioned approach by releasing his upcoming movie on actual film. Select theaters showing “Interstellar” on analogue celluloid will get the film two days early. But will theater owners, who recently converted to digital cinema, still know how to thread a 35mm projector?

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including the death of Saturday morning cartoons, why U2 released their latest album on vinyl and how Facebook is helping “Twilight” live on through a series of short films.

Play

Twin Peaks Revival To Air On Showtime
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/twin-peaks-revival-to-air-on-showtime-in-2016-1201322329/

‘Gone Girl’ Bolts To Top of Box Office
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/10/05/gone-girl-box-office-annabelle-left-behind/16761121/

Chinese Road Trip Comedy ‘Breakup Buddies’ Tops Foreign Box Office
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/breakup-buddies-foreign-box-office-1201321952/

Netflix Books Adam Sandler for Four Movies
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/netflix-books-adam-sandler-four-737500

What Netflix’s Sandler Stunner Means for Movies
http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/what-netflixs-sandler-stunner-means-for-movies-1201319579/

SoftBank Investing $250 Million in Legendary, Forms Joint Venture
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/softbank-investing-250-million-in-legendary-forms-joint-venture-1201319480/

Legendary’s Deal With SoftBank Actually Worth Up to $1 Billion
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/legendarys-deal-with-softbank-actually-worth-1-billion-exclusive-1201319513/

Thom Yorke Solo Album Downloaded 400,000 Times Over Weekend via BitTorrent
http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/thom-yorke-solo-album-tomorrows-modern-boxes-downloaded-400000-times-over-weekend-1201316230/

Fox News Nabs Historic Cable Ratings Victory
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/fox-news-nabs-historic-cable-736624

E-books Still Outsold by Hardcover and Paperback
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/64170-e-books-remain-third.html

Walt Disney Co. Backs $1.25 Billion Lifeline for Euro Disney
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/10/06/walt-disney-co-backs-1-25-billion-lifeline-for-euro-disney/

Disney Gives CEO Robert Iger a Two-Year Contract Extension
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-disney-ceo-iger-contract-20141003-story.html

U2 Now Eligible for Grammys After Pressing Limited-Edition Vinyl
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/u2-eligible-grammys-after-pressing-vinyl-20140930

After SiriusXM Success, The Turtles Take on Pandora in $25 Million Lawsuit
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/siriusxm-success-turtles-take-pandora-737673

Twilight Returns! (In a Series of Short Films Premiering on Facebook)
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/oct/01/twilight-returns-in-a-series-of-short-films-premiering-on-facebook

FCC Eliminates Sports Blackout Rule Amid Opposition From NFL
http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/fcc-eliminates-sports-blackout-rule-1201317190/

2015 Oscars: With Russia’s Unexpected Choice, Foreign-Language Race Takes Shape
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/02/2015-oscars-with-russias-unexpected-choice-foreign-language-race-takes-shape/

Oscars: China Selects ‘The Nightingale’ for Foreign-Language Category
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-china-selects-nightingale-foreign-735865

ABC’s ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Premiere Sets DVR Playback Record
http://variety.com/2014/tv/ratings/abcs-how-to-get-away-with-murder-premiere-sets-dvr-playback-record-1201317320/

NBC’s The Blacklist Grows 54 Percent In Live + 3 Ratings Among Adults 18-49
http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/04/nbcs-the-blacklist-grows-54-percent-in-live-3-ratings-among-adults-18-49/310802/

Supreme Court Denies Review of Superman Rights
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/supreme-court-denies-review-superman-738308

This Is the First Weekend in America With No Saturday Morning Cartoons
http://gizmodo.com/this-is-the-first-weekend-in-america-with-no-saturday-m-1642441646/

How Christopher Nolan’s Crusade to Save Film Is Working
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/how-christopher-nolans-crusade-save-737191

Why Theater Owners Aren’t Happy About Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Film Initiative
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/why-theater-owners-arent-happy-737661

With ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel, Netflix Takes Aim at Hollywood
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/business/media/with-crouching-tiger-sequel-netflix-takes-aim-at-hollywood.html

Chains Spurn Netflix Plan to Screen ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/business/theater-chains-push-back-against-netflix-plan-for-crouching-tiger-sequel.html

‘Crouching Tiger,’ Hidden Agenda: Questioning Netflix’s Movie Motives
http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/crouching-tiger-hidden-agenda-questioning-netflixs-movie-motives-1201318478/

Comments

  • Michael Giltz

    I’m not sure what floored me more: the fact that they’re finally making a sequel to “Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon” (something I feared and wanted in equal measure) or the fact that almost every news outlet covering the Netflix deal downplayed the sequel as just a minor art house fluke, as not big news. To me, “Crouching Tiger” is one of the most valuable and commercial properties the Weinsteins have, a genuine spectacle you want to see on the big screen. But what do I know? I’m still annoyed “Gladiator” beat it out for the Best Picture Oscar.

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