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Coming Soon, Timeline / 31 Jul, 2015

Netflix Taunts Cinemas With Beasts Of No Nation

The latest trailer of Beasts of No Nation was released a few hours ago and it made my heart skip a beat. Cary Fukyanaga, the renowned director from True Detectives season 1, is the man behind the movie. The movie, based on African insurgencies, is an adaptation of Nigerian novelist Uzodinama Iweala’s 2005 novel of the same name.  Netflix made yet another big-screen splash and roped in the African Civil War movie for a high-stake sum of $12 million.

Here is the gut-wrenching trailer of the first Netflix original movie

The film stars Idris Elba as a callous chief of a group of mercenaries. He brainwashes a young boy named Agu (Abraham Attah) to become a child soldier. The film would be yet another effort from Hollywood to highlight the social issues facing the African societies and the dangerous world African children grow in. But Netflix probably didn’t buy the movie for a huge sum because it was part of their CSR agenda. The guys at Netflix genuinely think that the movie has Oscar potential.

idris elba


For a movie to be in the race of an Oscar it needs to follow the Academy Award Rules which clearly state that a movie should be firstly released in theatres to be in contention for any awards. This is the reason why Netflix has announced that the movie would hit theatres and debut worldwide on Netflix on October 16, 2015. Indie film distributor Bleecker Street and exhibitor Landmark would open the film in 19 markets of Landmark Theatres.

Major theatre chains have already refused to screen the movie. The reason given is that they don’t screen movies which would be concurrently available for streaming. This is understandable because the major chunk of their to-be revenue would now go to Netflix itself. Cinema chains to boycott the movie include AMC, Cinemark, Carmile and Regal.

On the other hand, the team behind the Beasts of No Nation seems to be unfazed about the boycott and is happy with its partnership with Netflix. Amy Kaufman, a producer of the movie, had to say the following about working with Netflix:

“This movie will have the muscle of Netflix behind it.”

netflix beasts of no nation

She also believes that the movie would have a diverse outreach. “It will definitely be seen by a lot more and different kinds of people through Netflix than it would have through a traditional platform,” added Kaufman.

This is probably the tip of the iceberg as far as avenues for viewing a movie are concerned. Netflix would also release a bunch of other new original movies in the times to come including Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend and Brad Pitt’s War Machine.

My question to the big cinema houses is that would they boycott the other star studded movies that Netflix is to release? Refraining to show movies which simultaneously run on the streaming service might turn out to become a costly decision.

Amazon Studios announced early January this year that it would produce movies for theatrical and digital releases in 2015.  If the likes of Hulu also jump on this bandwagon then it would mean more movies with this redefined distribution model. This would be more than a warning signal for such theatres.

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