One of the more respected arthouse distributors in recent years is NEON, a company that had a bumper year in 2019 with some of the year’s best films including “Apollo 11,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Monos,” “Honeyland,” and Best Picture winner “Parasite”.
In a new interview with IndieWire, NEON co-founder Tom Quinn spoke about the future of the industry and how streaming plays into it. Surprisingly he reveals that he doesn’t think his company has much to worry about on the streaming front and that the relationship between smaller distributors and Netflix is surprisingly more symbiotic than you might think:
“Our biggest competitor for ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ at Cannes was Netflix. They’ve always been interested. The question is, can they build the best model for that film? I don’t know. Sony Classics was in there. They’ve done this for years.
It’s weird, but they all benefit each other, even though they’re not at the same table. That’s what I find most fascinating. ‘Marriage Story,’ ‘The Two Popes,’ and ‘The Irishman’ are not on the same shelf space as where we are at the Oscars.
Quinn says by the time NEON’s films, which have a traditional theatrical run, hit streaming they are ‘more valuable’. He also adds he would’ve liked to have seen “The Irishman” play theatrically, but doesn’t seem too cut up that it didn’t:
“Everybody needs to f–king settle down and figure out what’s best for each movie. The best way to see ‘The Irishman’ was in a theater, without fail. I saw it in a theater. It had my undivided attention. Going to a theater is a massive commitment, but once you go, it’s huge. That’s a relevant thing.”
NEON is sticking to their commitment to cinema as well, recently announcing plans to expand showings of “Parasite” this weekend to some 2,000 screens – up from 1,060 screens as of last weekend. The re-release comes even as the film is also available on home media.
NEON has Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria,” Francis Lee’s “Ammonite,” Josephine Decker’s “Shirley,” and Max Barbakow’s “Palm Springs” on the way later this year.