Netflix is ​​using ‘Matilda’ to try its luck with UK theatrical releases

When it was announced that Netflix would add a version of the musical “Matilda,” Roal Dahl’s novel already made into a movie by Danny De Vito, Broadway fans were excited about the catalog. With lyrics and music by the Australian comedian Musical Tim Minchin had success in New York (and in Madrid), so the adaptation was no surprise.

However, the streaming giant’s decision to show the film in theaters in the UK and Ireland a month earlier than the rest of the world, and to keep the film out of the British catalog until next summer. Along the way, the film will be distributed theatrically by Sony, which will also handle the first release Video on demand and physical form.

With rumors that other films from the company could hit theaters, and failing to spark interest in much-discussed films such as Andrew Dominic’s “Blonde,” Matilda’s theatrical release is a good test of the Netflix strip with a fitting window on exclusivity in theaters. It would be a new form of income for the company that keeps bleeding users and that proposes subscriptions with commercials and serious restrictions.

Income problem

One of the biggest difficulties for Netflix, or at least its production company, is calculating the profits generated from its investments in cinema. It’s hard to know if the company’s $200 million investment in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” or Adam McKay’s $75 million “Don’t Look Up” brought new subscribers to the company.. Added to this, they were not enough to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and they also lost in 2022 against “Coda” with a tape distributed by Apple +.

Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that if Matilda’s numbers in the UK are positive, it could be an option for the company in its future projects. It would be natural for them to have their skepticism about the premiere of Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion,” which they hope will become a franchise about Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc, or the “background noise” of Noah Baumbach with which they hope to compete in the awards. season.

It is, of course, speculation. But the fact is that cinemas have already shown a willingness to reduce the exclusivity window to just over a month, although they will keep it away from the requirements of countries Like France that asks for 15 months Film exclusivity prior to reaching the platforms, a condition that preserved the premieres of the platform outside of Cannes.

The theater also needs a premiere

With the exception of a dropper of franchises closing the year for movie theaters, there are a few options for closing the year. This can be verified by looking at Spanish theaters, which although they can wait for some major national releases before the end of the year, such as “Cerdita” or “Manticora”, still have summer films like “Nope” on their offer. In fact, one of the most successful films in recent weeks has been the revival of James Cameron’s Avatar.

It’s a troubling fact, at least for theaters that see premieres like Inarritu’s “Bardo” or “Glass Onion” itself remain trapped on the small screen. It is true that this also allowed some classic films to return to the big screen, but the income they make does not cover what theaters need to operate.

In 2022, Spanish cinemas are still 30% less than the income of 2019. This is worrying data for the future, and one that will likely raise concern in 2023, when there are still doubts about some big releases, and where there are doubts about the animated versions of Pixar and Disney after the box office failure of Lightyear.

So good to see this first evidence that a giant flow It is not refused to test rooms. Matilda numbers have yet to be seen in the UK, but a good result of the adaptation, which also has an all-star cast and a well-known nickname, could represent a good future for app releases.

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Terry Alexander

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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