Many movie theaters make a point to screen all the Best Picture nominees before the Academy Awards ceremony, but one film is being left off the schedule at a major theater chain. AMC Theaters has announced its plan to screen the films that were announced earlier this week as the nominees for Best Picture, but while eight films received nominations, only seven will be seen in AMC Theaters. Alfonso Cuaron's Roma will not be shown.
In a statement (via Deadline) AMC explained that the purpose of the screenings is for moviegoers to "catch up" on the films that have been shown at AMC theaters throughout the year that they may have missed. However, Roma never screened in any AMC Theaters during its theatrical run, and thus won't be included this time around either.
Of course, the reason that Roma never screened in the largest theater chain in the U.S. is because the film was never really designed for a theatrical screening. It was produced by Netflix for the streaming platform and only saw a limited theatrical run in order to qualify for the Oscars in the first place. It premiered at one theater in New York, and one in Los Angeles, on November 21 and saw a handful of additional theaters get added for a couple of weeks before the movie debuted on Netflix December 14.
AMC isn't the only theater chain snubbing Roma, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark Theaters have also announced they will be screening all the Best Picture nominees, except for that one.
It's not all that surprising to see Roma left off the slate by these major theater chains. There has been an ongoing battle between Netflix and the theaters over the movies Netflix produces. In the past, Netflix has made its films available to theaters, but only on a day-and-date release with the movie hitting the streaming service. Most theaters have chosen not to screen Netflix films since so many people can just watch them at home.
And of course, that's the option here too. If you haven't caught all the Best Picture nominees and you want to do so before the awards, you can just watch Roma on Netflix at home, and catch any of the others that you need to when they show at your local multiplex.
While the theaters' decision not to screen Roma makes sense as far as it goes, the fact is that Roma is something of a front runner in the Oscar race. The film received 10 nominations this week and has a real chance in virtually every category. If the one movie that doesn't get screened during these Best Picture festivals is the one that actually wins the award, it's not going to be a great look for the people who spent the money in the theaters to see all the other films.