19 Apr Netflix and Byron Allen Could Be Getting Into the Movie Theater Business
Landmark Theatres, a high-end chain known for its art-house offerings, has been quietly on the market for some time. But this week, two would-be buyers emerged as potential suitors: Netflix and Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios.
The names of both companies floated in the press illustrates the seismic changes happening in the movie industry. At a time when ticket sales are on the decline, owning a theater doesn’t have the same profitability margins it once had. But there are other perks that could appeal to unconventional owners.
Netflix, which has been flirting with getting into the theatrical exhibition space as a way to qualify its films for awards consideration and to serve as a kind of test-kitchen for corporate experimentation, looked at the chain. However, it’s not interested in the company, according to sources. (Netflix declined to comment.)
Netflix received four Oscar nominations this year for Dee Rees’ Southern epic “Mudbound,” but it has yet to crack the best-picture race with one of its movies. Although the streaming giant has had day-and-date releases for a handful of titles, such as “Okja” and Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father,” none of the major chains will carry a move if it’s simultaneously available on home platforms. If Netflix owned a theater, the company would be able to sidestep this barrier.