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Netflix's continued movement into various segments of the entertainment industry has become a massive topic of conversation over the course of the last few years as the streaming giant has continuously upended the traditional theater experience. That said, it now looks like Netflix is actually looking to get in on the theatrical experience, rather than completely disrupt it. In fact, it looks like Netflix may be on the verge of getting its hands on a theater chain of its own.
A new development has occurred in the continuously evolving dynamic between Netflix and the traditional theater distribution model. Per The Los Angeles Times, it looks like Netflix may have considered buying theaters of its own in Los Angeles and New York as a means of screening its feature and documentary content that might not typically get airtime at major theater chains. Netflix apparently considered purchasing the Landmark theater chain owned by Mark Cuban at one point, but backed out over the steep price. Nevertheless, the decision to buy a theater chain to screen its content remains an idea that's very much on Netflix's radar.
As far as prestige is concerned, some definite advantages could result from a Netflix-owned theater chain. The topic of Netflix movies becoming worthy of awards recognition has turned into a major conversation in the entertainment industry, with names as big as Ready Player One director Steven Spielberg saying that Netflix movies aren't Oscar-worthy. A significant factor in that discussion has been the fact that Netflix movies don't always get a theater exhibition. By buying a chain of its very own, Netflix would have the ability to start screening its own content on big screens in select cities to make a much more cogent argument for awards consideration.
Moreover, the war between Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival recently heated up when it was announced that the festival would only allow theatrically-screened movies to compete. Getting its hands on easy theater exhibition would open up a natural pathway to these prestigious events, and that exposure could translate to more prestigious movie content moving forward -- not unlike what happened when Netflix's TV content like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black started taking off.
The ever-increasing scope of Netflix's properties and projects also arguably makes the jump to theater exhibition a logical decision. Netflix jumped into the big-budget world last year with the release of David Ayer's Bright, and that film's wide exposure to audiences seems to suggest there's more blockbuster content on the way, as well. With a big screen naturally acting as a perfect fit for films on a bigger scale, the movie to theaters could help Netflix become an even bigger player in the popcorn movie genre.
Of course, at this stage of the game, no deal has been finalized yet. The rumors of Netflix considering a theater purchase remain just rumors, but we will bring you more information related to all of these rumors as it becomes available to us. For now, make sure to take a glance at CinemaBlend's Netflix premiere guide and our full movie premiere guide to see what films are on the horizon in 2018!