In the wake of top theater chains loudly (and cattily) voicing their disapproval of Netflix’s plan to release a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel in theaters and on streaming on the same day, media analysts are coming to the shocking conclusion that Netflix might have orchestrated the whole thing on purpose.
Michael Nathanson of “independent research boutique” MoffettNathanson, who you know is important because it’s right there in the name, tells Variety that he thinks Netflix’s claim that it has several other simultaneous “day-and-date” releases in the works is bullshit. “We are skeptical that any other major movie studio would be willing to go down this path as it jeopardizes the entire profit model,” he says. “As long as none of the major studios break rank, we feel like this Netflix test will ultimately fizzle away just like premium VOD.”
So if its strategy won’t result in any real change, why pursue it at all? Publicity, of course. Tony Wible of Janney Capital Markets points out that the day-and-date strategy will likely function as a bargaining chip in Netflix’s negotiations in lucrative foreign markets, as well giving the company lots of free press. “Essentially, Netflix will get hype for a relatively low cost via a film that will largely only be seen online in the U.S.,” he says. Touché, Netflix. Now will you please add more seasons of Ink Master?