Recently, Netflix has found itself in a bit off a tiff with the Cannes Film Festival over its general refusal to screen its original movies in theaters, with Beatrice Welles stepping in to try and calm the hostilities (because Netflix is releasing a long-lost film made by her father, Orson Welles, and it was supposed to premiere at Cannes). Apparently, though, Netflix is considering a somewhat drastic move to try and circumvent any future theatrical controversies, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that the streaming service recently tried to buy Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theaters chain but backed out of a deal because the price “was too high.”
The L.A. Times’ sources say both Netflix and Landmark refused to comment on this, but the basic idea behind seems like publicity scheme to try and appease groups like the Cannes Film Festival or filmmakers who are reluctant to embrace an all-streaming future. There’s also the fact that some Academy Awards voters are reportedly hesitant to pay attention to Netflix movies because they don’t get a wide theatrical release, so buying its own theater chain would help Netflix win awards without having to fully go back to an old-fashioned movie distribution model.
Buying a theater chain is fairly silly, though, especially since Netflix is already spending a lot of money on making original movies and TV shows to distract subscribers from its dwindling supply of content, so it seems like this isn’t going to happen any time soon—if at all.