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Netflix will release 10 fall films in theaters, well ahead of their streaming debuts

Netflix will release 10 fall films in theaters, well ahead of their streaming debuts


Including Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman

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After months-long negotiations between Netflix and major theater chains, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, will get a November 1st theatrical debut before coming to Netflix on November 27th.

The film is just one of the latest to highlight the ongoing struggle between Netflix and the traditional film industry, as theater chains like AMC and Regal insist on a 90-day period of exclusivity before movies go to home streaming services. Theaters, which want to attract audiences for as long as possible before they have the option to stream movies at home, are at odds with services like Netflix, which prioritizes using its new content to keep and attract new subscribers.

At the same time, Netflix has been actively seeking awards recognition and the prestige and free publicity that come with high-profile award-winners. Streaming companies’ bid for awards concerns traditionalists like director Steven Spielberg, who has said all Netflix’s releases are “TV movies” and has suggested they should be ineligible for awards like Oscars. The attempt to put Netflix movies in theaters has been another part of the bid for awards, since film awards typically require a theatrical run for their candidates. Earlier this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences shot down a suggestion that the Oscar eligibility rules should be changed to make it harder for streaming movies to win awards.

Netflix is planning 10 fall movies with exclusive theatrical release windows ahead of their online release for subscribers. The list includes Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, which will premiere September 7th in theaters before making its way to the streaming service on October 18th, and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, which will be in theaters exclusively for a month on November 6th before hitting Netflix on December 6th.

For comparison, Netflix released just four films in theaters in 2018: Bird Box, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mowgli, and the Academy Award-winning Roma. In order to qualify for the Oscars, films must run for at least seven days in an LA county theater. With The Irishman being a strong Oscars contender, it’s in Netflix’s best interest to play by the rules (at least for a few weeks) if it wants to be known for a service that can pull in high-profile directors and award-winning films.

Here’s a full list of Netflix’s upcoming theatrical film releases:

  • The Laundromat​
    Sept. 27th (theatrical), Oct. 18th (Netflix)
  • Dolemite Is My Name
    Oct. 4th (theatrical); Oct. 25th (Netflix)
  • The King
    Oct. 11th (theatrical); Nov. 1st (Netflix)
  • The Irishman​
    Nov. 1st (theatrical); Nov. 27th (Netflix)
  • Earthquake Bird
    Nov. 1st (theatrical); Nov. 15th (Netflix)
  • Marriage Story
    Nov. 6th (theatrical); Dec. 6th (Netflix)
  • Klaus​
    Nov. 8th (theatrical); Nov. 15th (Netflix)
  • I Lost My Body
    Nov. 15th (theatrical); Nov. 29th (Netflix)
  • Atlantics
    Nov. 15th (theatrical); Nov. 29th (Netflix)
  • The Two Popes
    Nov. 27th (theatrical); Dec. 20th (Netflix)