Last week came the news that Netflix is set to give Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and two other awards contenders a short, exclusive theatrical run in indie cinemas willing to play its product this Fall.
With the black-and-white, Spanish-language “Roma” considered a frontrunner for awards, the film is getting a special treatment that goes beyond the one week window that the other two films – “Bird Box” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” – are receiving. Instead “Roma” will have a nearly four-week rollout ahead of its unveiling on the service on December 14th.
Now, having cracked that door open, Netflix is reportedly risking similar demands by other top filmmakers who are accustomed to a big screen opening of their films with one talent agency telling THR that the ‘Cuaron treatment’ is the nickname now being thrown about in negotiations.
In fact Netflix original films on the way in the next few years from Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, Steven Soderbergh and Michael Bay could well demand the ‘Cuaron treatment’ when we get closer to their release – or go even further towards a more traditional theatrical window which is something the streaming giant has fought against in the past.
Even the three-week exclusive run in cinemas for “Roma” is not enough for exhibitors who insist on a three-month window for DVDs or Blu-rays and 74 days for electronic sell-through on digital platforms, not the super-short theatrical runs that Netflix is proposing. As a result, major cinema chains like AMC, Regal and Cinemark won’t be carrying Netflix films beyond those individual cinema theaters the streamer rents out themselves.