Alfonso Cuaron remarked that the theatrical experience has become "gentrified" and favors certain kinds of films over others, while arguing that streaming platforms should peacefully coexist with movie theaters backstage at the 2019 Golden Globes.
Speaking with journalists after winning the best director prize for Roma, the director was asked whether Netflix was killing the independent theatrical experience. Disagreeing strongly, he said, "I hope the discussion between Netflix and platforms in general and theatrical should be over. I think those guys — platforms and theatrical — should go together. And just realize …. they both together can elevate cinema, and more importantly, they can create diversity in cinema."
Cuaron, whose film enjoyed a more than three-week theatrical run before it was released on Netflix, as well as 70mm presentations, added, "Something that we have to be very conscious of is that the theatrical experience has become very gentrified to one specific kind of product. Right now you have all these interested filmmakers doing films with different platforms because those platforms are not afraid of doing these films."
Earlier in his remarks with journalists, Cuaron argued that independent films hadn't "died" because streaming platforms had infused diversity into cinematic offerings. "My question to you is, how many theaters do you think a Mexican film in black and white in Spanish that is a drama without stars?"
He added, "It's still playing, which is rare for a foreign film." Later, he said, "Why don’t you take the list of foreign films this year and compare the theatrical release of those films and how long they’ve been played [to Roma]?"
Roma opened strong in limited release in December, according to sources familiar with the release and industry experts who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter. Though Netflix isn't reporting box office grosses, experts say the film made between $90,000 and $120,000 over its three-day weekend for a location average of $30,000 to $40,000.
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