The “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel that The Weinstein Company and Netflix will simultaneously distribute in IMAX theaters and online in August 2015 will not be available in Regal or Cinemark theaters.
The two largest theater chains in the country, Regal being the biggest, were quick to slam the landmark deal on Tuesday as “an experiment” it does not wish to participate in.
“While a home video release may be simultaneously performing in certain IMAX locations, at Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3 inches wide on a smart phone,” a Regal spokesman said in a statement. “We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear.”
Cinemark said: “Cinemark does not play day-and-date movie releases on any of our screens including the IMAX screens that we operate.”
Europe’s second-largest cinema operator, Cineworld, also announced that it will not show “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2” on its IMAX screens.
“We bring our customers the IMAX experience as the complete opposite of home entertainment, which can be found on all sorts of smaller, every-day screens like the TV or smartphones and devices,” Cineworld said in a statement. “We believe that the theatrical experience and IMAX, as one of its cornerstones, should be kept apart from home entertainment.”
Netflix said on Monday that the sequel to the 2000 Ang Lee martial arts drama, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, would be the first of several major films to be given a day-and-date release on Netflix and in some Imax theaters.
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend” will welcome back original cast member Michelle Yeoh, reprising her role as Yu Shu-Lien, joining Donnie Yen as Silent Wolf. Yuen Wo-Ping will direct the Aug. 28, 2015 release.