As Deadline first reported in August, Netflix is staking out one-week awards-qualifying theatrical runs for its movies. On Tuesday, in a letter to investors, Netflix co-founder, chairman and CEO Reed Hastings said the streaming giant is now set to release Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma in December on both Netflix and 100 screens worldwide.
It’s a similar plan Netflix executed on Paul Greengrass’ 22 July, which dropped October 10.
“We believe in our member-centric simultaneous release model for our original films and welcome additional theatre chains that are open to carrying our films to provide the shared-viewing, big-screen experience to their customers who enjoy that option,” said Hastings in his note.
Roma will reportedly hit theaters December 14 for a week in Los Angeles and New York. It has been reported that Cuarón specifically wants Dolby Atmos-tailored venues, and those can be four-walled at any major chain even if their standard policy is not to play day-and-date titles; that policy only applies for day-and-date releases getting a wide break. We keep hearing buzz that Roma may play in Imax, though that is specifically unconfirmed. Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said at a September Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, “In fact, we are in active discussions with all of the streaming services about an Imax release. Now under those discussions, we are going to respect the windows and the streaming services know that.”
Note that four-walling during the year-end holiday is tough due to the multitude of major studio product from which exhibitors are reaping enormous rental fees.
Last Friday, Netflix held a BAFTA members screening for Roma at the Ham Yard Hotel in London, hosted by Gravity producer David Heyman. It drew huge applause and and emotional response, with many crying. Andrew Garfield, Terry Gilliam, Kristen Scott Thomas, Will Poulter and more were in attendance.
Roma is also Mexico’s foreign-language film entry for the Oscars this year.