Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believes that the TV business is making strides in the right direction, but he won’t say the same about the movie business — and he thinks that theater owners are to blame.
“Movie theaters are strangling the movie business. There’s been no innovation in the movie business in the last 50 years,” Hastings told the New Yorker at the magazine’s TechFest event on Friday, according to Fortune.
He told New Yorker editor David Remnick that studios want to experiment with the idea of distributing movies directly to the consumers and “break the oligopoly,” but that would cause an uproar among cinema owners.
Theatrical distribution drives a substantial amount of revenue to movie studios, but Hastings added that it can be more profitable and efficient for movies to be distributed in cinemas and on other platforms simultaneously. Earlier this week, Netflix signed a deal with iPic Entertainment that would allow the theater chain to screen 10 movies simultaneously with their release online.
Day-and-date releases have become more common in the industry, and they’re a hot-button issue for the major exhibitors. For example, Sony released “The Interview” in theaters and online at the same time back in 2014. Paramount experimented with shortening the time that movie theaters have exclusive rights to first-run films with “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” and “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.”
Napster founder Sean Parker mentioned a plan to offer first-run movies for home viewing for $50 on the same day that they hit theaters via his Screening Room startup.
According to Bloomberg, Hastings said Netflix’s chances of entering the Chinese market don’t “look good” because China doesn’t offer streaming video services.
“We’re focused on the rest of the world,” Hastings said. “Disney, who is very good in China, had their movie service shut down. Apple, who is very good in China, had their movie service closed down. It doesn’t look good.”
Netflix in October: What's Coming and What to Watch Before It's Gone (Photos)
From an R&B-singing vampire queen and George Clooney to an '80s truant teenager and a YouTube star, there are plenty of streaming options throughout the month.
What's Coming Oct. 1: "Queen of the Damned" Just in time for Halloween, Netflix is adding 2002's adaptation of Anne Rice's novel "The Queen of the Damned," led by the late R&B star Aaliyah and Irish actor Stuart Townsend.
What's Coming Oct. 1: "Dazed and Confused" Following the release of director Richard Linklater's "Everybody Wants Some!!" earlier this year, the new film's spiritual prequel "Dazed and Confused" hits Netflix next month.
What's Coming Oct. 1: "Unforgiven" Clint Eastwood's Best Picture winner "Unforgiven" takes a frank look at how the uglier parts of the Old West have been forgotten through time.
What's Coming Oct. 1: "Three Kings" David O. Russell's 1999 satirical war comedy "Three Kings" has come to be defined the the director's infamous physical altercation with star George Clooney, but it remains one of the directors best-received movies to date.
What's Coming Oct. 1: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" John Hughes's iconic 1986 comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," starring Matthew Broderick, hits Netflix on the first of the month.
What's Coming Oct. 4: "American Horror Story: Hotel" The sixth season of Ryan Murphy's horror anthology series debuted on FX in September, but the Lady Gaga-led fifth installment heads to Netflix in October.
What's Coming Oct. 14: "Haters Back Off!" YouTube star Colleen Ballinger will bring her famously annoying character Miranda Sings to YouTube with this scripted original series.