Apple and Amazon Are Betting Big on Movie Theaters – and Netflix Risks Being Left Behind | Analysis

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The streamer’s Big Tech rivals are seeing the benefits of wide releases and are increasing their investments in cinematic distribution

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You know what’s cool? A billion dollars. Theater stocks jumped when Amazon pledged to spend that amount on movies destined for the big screen last year. Now Apple reportedly plans to take a similar chunk of its multibillion-dollar content budget and allocate it to theatrical releases.

Netflix alone, still steadfast in its commitment to treating theatrical as a sop to throw at feisty actors or fussy awards-show rulemakers, risks losing out on high-level talent and top-tier cultural impact — as well as the financial rewards from a film that moves the needle on streaming.

Two years after “Godzilla vs. Kong” proved the multiplex wouldn’t go down without a fight, an old-fashioned wide release now signals seriousness in the streaming wars.