‘Roma,’ ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ and ‘Bird Box’ to Open in Theaters Ahead of Netflix Debuts

“Roma” will mark company’s biggest window between theatrical and streaming rollout

Last Updated: November 1, 2018 @ 9:01 AM

Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” Joel and Ethan Coen’ “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and Susanne Bier’s “Bird Box” are getting exclusive limited theatrical releases ahead of their releases on Netflix, the streaming platform announced on Wednesday.

“Roma” will hit theaters on Nov. 21 in Los Angeles, New York and Mexico, with additional engagements beginning Nov. 29 in other U.S. cities and other U.S. markets and international territories rolling out on Dec. 7. The film will then be released on Netflix on Dec. 14, along with an expanded theatrical release. In total, “Roma” will be released theatrically in more than 20 territories. This is Netflix’s longest window between a theatrical and streaming platform release ever, giving users a choice in how they want to see Cuaron’s newest movie.

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” will have theatrical engagements starting Nov. 8 in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and London, with a global release on Netflix on Nov. 16 as well as an expanded theatrical release.

“Bird Box” will receive a limited theatrical release starting Dec. 13 in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and London. It will later debut on Netflix on Dec. 21 along with an expanded theatrical release.

Allowing a theatrical release is also signaling that Netflix is looking for a heavy awards push for all three films, especially among Oscar voters who prefer seeing movies on cinematic screens.

“These upcoming engagements are following the success of our theatrical and Netflix releases of ‘Private Life’ and ’22 July,'” Netflix film group head Scott Stuber said in a statement. “There’s been an overwhelming response to all of our films this festival season, including ‘Outlaw King,’ which will be in theaters and on Netflix next week, and this plan is building on that momentum. Netflix’s priority is our members and our filmmakers, and we are constantly innovating to serve them. Our members benefit from having the best quality films from world class filmmakers and our filmmakers benefit by being able to share their artistry with the largest possible audience in over 190 countries worldwide.”

“Roma” stars Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, a young domestic worker for a family living in the middle class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. This is Cuaron’s first project since 2013’s “Gravity.” The film was produced and financed by Participant Media.

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” is a six-part anthology film about the American West. James Franco, Tyne Daly, Zoe Kazan, Liam Neeson, Tom Waits and Brendan Gleeson star. The film received the Best Screenplay award at the Venice Film Festival.

“Bird Box” stars Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Trevante Rhodes and John Malkovich and follows a woman who must flee down a river with her two children when a mysterious force dominates the world’s population.