Earlier this year it was rumored that streaming giant Netflix was considering purchasing a theater chain to screen their original films. While the purchase didn't pan out, it doesn't mean we won't see Netflix movies playing in theaters one day soon.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, during a panel at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said they're "in active discussions with all of the streaming [services] about an IMAX release," meaning that streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix could start using IMAX as a way to theatrically release their original films. Gelfond said one reason is that currently, "there's not an opening day" for the streaming platforms who release new TV shows and films throughout the year. In Gelfond's mind, IMAX is one way to "event-size the size [of a movie]."
With big action and genre stars like Will Smith starring in Netflix original films like Bright, it doesn't seem like a huge stretch that they might want to make some extra money through releasing theatrically.
"But over time, to me, it's inevitable that these big blockbusters that people are spending all this money on, are going to have a theatrical release and I think almost certainly an IMAX release," continued Gelfond.
In the past, Steven Speilberg has suggested films from streaming platforms be nominated for Emmys rather than Oscars and Netflix withdrew from the Cannes Film Festival after they were banned from competing due to theatrical release requirements. So the opportunity for critical recognition could factor into potentially bringing content from these platforms to the big screen.
Would you shell out the extra cash to watch a movie in IMAX that you could watch from your couch at home?