AMC, Regal Won’t Screen Netflix’s ‘Roma’ in Oscars Best-Picture Showcase

“This year, Academy members nominated a film that was never licensed to AMC to play in our theatres,” AMC says

amc theatres
AMC Theatres

Netflix broke new ground on Tuesday, earning its first Oscar nomination for best picture with Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white epic, “Roma.” But that wasn’t enough for AMC Theatres, one of the streamer’s biggest rivals.

The theater chain, the largest in the country, along with Regal Cinemas, said on Tuesday that it will not show “Roma” as part of their yearly best picture showcases.

“For more than a decade, movie-lovers have enjoyed the AMC best picture showcase to catch up on the nominated films that played at AMC throughout the prior year,” the company said in a statement. “This year, Academy members nominated a film that was never licensed to AMC to play in our theatres. As such, it is not included in the AMC best picture showcase.”

Netflix and AMC have long been at each other’s throats. Until last year, Netflix remained a staunch advocate for day and date releases, only picking select films to receive theatrical runs. AMC, on the other hand, has fought hard to protect exclusive theatrical windows and lift up the value of a movie ticket.

A spokesperson for Netflix declined to comment.

In 2018, Netflix decided to buck against its traditional approach, and give “Roma,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and “Bird Box” theatrical runs in select theaters ahead of their Netflix debuts.

For its efforts, Netflix was able to earn 10 nominations for “Roma,” including for best director, lead actress and original screenplay. The streamer also nabbed three nominations for “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”

Once Oscar nominations are revealed, theater chains, including AMC, Regal and Cinemark — the country’s three largest chains — typically announce their annual best-picture showcases, giving audiences that missed the films a chance to see them ahead of the Oscar ceremony.

Because “Roma” was not released in their theaters, Regal and AMC will not screen the film.

“The Regal Best Picture Film Festival showcases the Best Picture nominees that played in our theatres in 2018,” the company said in a statement. “For that reason, ‘Roma,’ a movie predominantly shown on TV, will not be included in our festival.”

A spokesman for Cinemark did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.