The ideal version of this sounds nice on paper, but since these disparate activities currently exist, some major issues would need to be ironed out to make it all work in practice. Currently, Netflix largely reserves theatrical releases for the qualifying races for the rewards. They’re minimal for the most part, and the company doesn’t even bother to post box office numbers. These exclusive windows are short, which means theaters don’t have much incentive to prioritize movies, as viewers are more likely than not to wait for them to be available from the comfort of their own homes.
What should eventually happen is that Netflix should become more flexible in this department. They should negotiate meaningful and exclusive windows for these films before they arrive on the streaming service. The good news is that those windows for big movies have already shrunk considerably in the age of the pandemic. It used to be nearly three months for blockbusters, now what? In most cases, 45 days is becoming the new norm at the high end. Surely there is a healthy in-between that Netflix and movie chains could negotiate.
The thing is, the global box office is set to rebound significantly this year from last – and 2023 looks even more hopeful. Cinemas aren’t going anywhere, and Netflix’s recent troubles have caused other media giants to reconsider when it comes to theatrical distribution. Netflix would do well not to dismiss this idea out of hand. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Netflix should try something new, and in that case, maybe something new is something old.