Netflix Dates 'Marriage Story,' 'Laundromat' and Other Fall Award Films
Like last year, the streamer's Oscar contenders will get a relatively brief run in select indie theaters before launching on the service.
On the eve of the fall film festivals — which kick off awards season — Netflix has revealed release dates for its high-profile slate of upcoming films, including Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat and Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story.
Like last year, the movies will get a brief run in a small number of theaters before launching on Netflix. In 2018, the streamer agreed to a two- to three-week exclusive theatrical window, give or take a few days. This time out, they are going further in some cases; Marriage Story, for example, will play for a full month on the big screen before hitting Netflix on Dec. 6.
Nevertheless, most exhibitors still won't carry a Netflix movie, since they insist on a 90-day window between the time a title opens and is released on home entertainment (for digital sell-through, it can be 74 to 76 days). That means Netflix must rely on renting or paying generous terms to indie houses such as The Landmark, iPic and Laemmle.
Earlier Tuesday, the streamer separately unveiled its plan for Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, which will play in select theaters beginning Nov. 1 and then hit Netflix on Nov. 27. The news follows months of talks between Netflix brass and cinema owners to see if Scorsese's high-profile mob pic could get a wider release; to date, those talks haven't produced the desired result.
The Laundromat, starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, is set to hit select cinemas Sept. 27 and then debut on Netflix on Oct. 18.
Craig Brewer's Dolemite Is My Name, starring Eddie Murphy, will follow in theaters Oct. 4 before launching on the service Oct. 25.
The King, starring Timothée Chalamet and Joel Edgerton and directed by David Michod, is set to open in cinemas a week later on Oct. 11 and will be available on Netflix on Nov. 1.
Wash Westmoreland’s Earthquake Birdstarring, toplined by Alicia Vikander, will bow opposite The Irishman in select locations Nov. 1 before premiering on Netflix on Nov. 15.
Marriage Story follows in theaters Nov. 6. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, the comedy-drama will hit the streamer Dec. 6.
Sergio Pablos’ animated feature Klaus will debut in select cinemas Nov. 8 before screening on Netflix on Nov. 15. Cannes Critics' Week award winner I Lost My Body and Cannes Grand Prix Award winner Atlantics will both play for two weeks on the big screen beginning Nov. 15 before streaming on Netflix on Nov. 29.
Fernando Meirelles’ The Two Popes, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, will launch in select cinemas Nov. 27, then head to Netflix more than three weeks later on Dec. 20.
The Two Popes, The Laundromat, Marriage Story and The King are all debuting at the Venice International Film Festival, which runs Wednesday through Sept. 7.
Last year, Netflix acknowledged the value of the theatrical experience — and its importance to filmmakers — when announcing that Roma and other Oscar hopefuls would play exclusively in cinemas before being made available to its subscribers.
Earlier this year, Academy members were debating a potential rule that would have required a four-week exclusive release for a film to qualify for the industry’s highest honors. Ultimately that rule was never proposed, but Netflix’s minor expansion of its theatrical window this year, at least in instances, suggests the streamer has been willing to inch closer to traditional business models for certain films with awards prospects.