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

October 6, 2014


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.


Twin Peaks Revival To Air On Showtime

‘Gone Girl’ Bolts To Top of Box Office

Chinese Road Trip Comedy ‘Breakup Buddies’ Tops Foreign Box Office

Netflix Books Adam Sandler for Four Movies

What Netflix’s Sandler Stunner Means for Movies

SoftBank Investing $250 Million in Legendary, Forms Joint Venture

Legendary’s Deal With SoftBank Actually Worth Up to $1 Billion

Thom Yorke Solo Album Downloaded 400,000 Times Over Weekend via BitTorrent

Fox News Nabs Historic Cable Ratings Victory

E-books Still Outsold by Hardcover and Paperback

Walt Disney Co. Backs $1.25 Billion Lifeline for Euro Disney

Disney Gives CEO Robert Iger a Two-Year Contract Extension

U2 Now Eligible for Grammys After Pressing Limited-Edition Vinyl

After SiriusXM Success, The Turtles Take on Pandora in $25 Million Lawsuit

Twilight Returns! (In a Series of Short Films Premiering on Facebook)

FCC Eliminates Sports Blackout Rule Amid Opposition From NFL

2015 Oscars: With Russia’s Unexpected Choice, Foreign-Language Race Takes Shape

Oscars: China Selects ‘The Nightingale’ for Foreign-Language Category

ABC’s ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Premiere Sets DVR Playback Record

NBC’s The Blacklist Grows 54 Percent In Live + 3 Ratings Among Adults 18-49

Supreme Court Denies Review of Superman Rights

This Is the First Weekend in America With No Saturday Morning Cartoons

How Christopher Nolan’s Crusade to Save Film Is Working

Why Theater Owners Aren’t Happy About Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Film Initiative

With ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel, Netflix Takes Aim at Hollywood

Chains Spurn Netflix Plan to Screen ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel

‘Crouching Tiger,’ Hidden Agenda: Questioning Netflix’s Movie Motives


  • 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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