Netflix Wants to Kill the Movie Theater

If Netflix has its way, movie theaters will soon be going the way of drive-ins. In a keynote speech at the 2013 Film Independent Forum, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said that by forcing movie-fans to go to a theater to watch the latest films when they are released, theater owners “strangle innovation and distribution.” According to Sarandos, the future of movie-watching is on-demand, presumably through Netflix. “Why not follow what the consumers desire, to watch things when they want, instead of spending tens of millions of dollars to advertise to people who may not even live near a theater?” Of course, the National Association of Theater Owners, had some different thoughts about Sarandos’ call to “innovation.” The organization’s president told Deadline, “The only business that would be helped by [same-day] release to Netflix is Netflix.” Though the idea that studios would by-pass theatrical roll-outs in favor of on-demand releases on a regular basis may seem far-fetched, but when it comes to TV programming, Netflix has already proven that previously unheard of strategies (like releasing entire seasons of new shows at one time), can actually work …

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