Netflix happy with Glass Onion’s limited theatrical run

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The streaming platform Netflix double downs – following Glass Onion – on its use of cinemas as a ‘promotional tactic’. 

Now that the whole affair is done, Netlflix has hailed the Glass Onion experiment as a success.

Netflix boss Ted Sarandos spoke about the tactic during the company’s latest earnings call, which made reading for the company in comparison to some of its other 2022 announcements. Although there are evidently still plenty of areas of concern, the company managed to add subscribers in Q4 and Sarandos was quick to point out that this was its core business, not getting into theatrical exhibition.

“I’m thrilled with every aspect of the release of Glass Onion,” Sarandos stated when quizzed as to whether Glass Onion’s theatrical release should have been any wider.

“I think what you saw was a lot of excitement. We drove a ton of buzz with that theatrical release, and we created a bunch of demand and that demand we fulfilled on our subscription service. Our core business is making movies for our members to watch on Netflix, and that’s what we’re really focused. Everything else is really a tactic to drive excitement around those films.”

There’s definitely a feeling that Netflix missed out on a significant chunk of change by not releasing the film on more screens, and for a longer duration. This writer couldn’t find a viewing of the film within 25 miles and that might go double for another film fan, depending on their location.

Still, even if Sarandos is wondering whether the company might have struck a slightly better balance of theatrical revenue and streaming interest, an earnings call with investors wouldn’t be the place to admit that money might have been left on the table, especially when the company’s earnings per share didn’t make for happy reading.

The tactic certainly seems like one that Netflix will return to, hopefully with some of its 2023 slate such as David Fincher’s The Killer. Whether the company will tweak its dual-release strategy remains to be seen, but we’ll let you know more as we hear it.


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