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The resurgence of theaters in the US can benefit Netflix, according to association of theater owners | united states | WORLD

The advance of Netflix sowed for years doubts about the future of the big screen, but the giant of the streamingwhich is registering a progressive loss of subscribers, could benefit from the increasing return of moviegoers to the seats, according to John Fithian, head of the association that groups cinemas in USA.

“The doors of the theaters have always been open for Netflix movies for years”Fithian declared during the annual convention of CinemaConwhich brings together the greats of the audiovisual industry in Las Vegas.

Fithian, head of the National Association of Theater Owners of America (NATO)said he held “several discussions” with the head of Netflix content, Ted Sarandosexhorting him to “see if the productions work in theaters”.

“I’m not keeping an eye on share prices. I just look at the data. You can make more money, even being a streamer (online exhibitor, ndlr), if you show your best movies in theaters first”he indicated.

Releasing movies first on the big screen before placing them on content platforms contravenes Netflix’s successful business model, which put Disney y Warner in the middle of the call “streaming war”.

The platform had revolutionized Hollywood and the way audiences consume movies, spending huge amounts of money to lure stars away from traditional studios and keeping moviegoers on their couches.

But the loss of 200,000 subscribers – 0.1% of its total subscriber base – in the first half, announced last week, triggered panic in the stock market and sent Netflix stock down more than 30% in a single working day.

The company announced several new strategies, including cheaper subscriptions with advertising.

Some of the major productions are screened in theaters on a limited basis in order to contend for Oscars, but the question that arises is whether they could consider a larger release on the big screen.

“I think the Netflix model can evolve in that direction. We hope you do.”Fithian opined.

This would allow a movie “stand out more”considered the executive, who added that “Movies that go directly to streaming services are lost”.

“Dead”

The atmosphere is livelier at this year’s edition of CinemaCon compared to 2021, which was impacted by one of the variants of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19which also continued to scare viewers and force studios to opt for online entertainment and not to watch movies from the seat.

This was even recorded in Fithian’s annual address, who this week captured headlines by stating that he was “dead” the trend of releasing films simultaneously on digital platforms and in theaters.

“That wasn’t just pulled out of the blue, it came out after consulting with a number of our studio partners about what they think about how they’re going to release their movies.”he pointed.

The big Hollywood studios have recently excited theater owners by re-implementing the window of exclusivity so that movies are shown only on the big screen. However, the current window of 45 days or less is less than the 90-day window of pre-pandemic times.

“The discussion is more about the extension of this window, not about whether it should be one option or the other”Fithian said.

concerns

But there are still reasons for concern in the industry. Among them the business model of Amazon Prime that, according to Fithian, “He’s not trying to make money from movies”but trying to attract consumers to “make your purchases or use your shipping services”.

Amazon Prime, a subscription service from the giant Amazon, took over the historic studio MGM by closing an $8.5 billion deal last month.

“If they are buying companies to pull movies out of theaters and release them exclusively on platforms, they would be reducing consumer choice,” the executive explained.

Fithian also stated that there are concerns about the prizes Oscar.

Last month Apple TV+ became the first streaming platform to win the statuette for best film, while resounding blockbusters such as “Spider-Man: No Way Home” they were conspicuous by their absence in the main categories.

The audiovisual industry is also attentive to the impact on cinemas of Russia of the embargo imposed by Hollywood in response to the military invasion of Ukraineon February 24 last.

“The market has not been abandoned. It is about a pause until there is peace, until it is the right time to return”noted Fithian who described last year as “very strange”.

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