It was supposed to be a “groundbreaking” maneuver for the film distribution industry in light of the latest updates for Yuen Woo-Ping‘s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend. Now, not quite so much.
Monday evening news broke throughout reporting the latest deal between film’s production company, The Weinstein Company, subscription video-on-demand provider Netflix and theatrical entertainment company IMAX that promised a day-and-date release for the upcoming sequel starring Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen. This week however, a handful of theater branches have pulled back from the deal refusing to comply with the release agenda, with at least a total of five major U.S., Canada and Europe-based theater chains backing away, including Regal, Cinemark, Carmike, AMC, Cineplex, Cineworld and Wanda.
In sum, the battle lines have officially been drawn. Whether or not the theater chains were informed about the deal or they were and simply refuse to be a part of it, one thing is clear aside from the film’s August 28, 2015 release date: Unless you live near an aquarium or a museum or are subscribed to Netflix, the chances of seeing this film just got a little bit more difficult.
Personally, I prefer to see movies in their big screen glory, as I love being part of the experience of a movie. Moreover, I say this also because I don’t have Netflix – just putting it out there. So while Netflix may see this as a lucrative deal they can benefit from, chances are that folks like me may have to go a little farther out of my way just to see a film, in which case, if you’re like me, you might be feeling a little alienated. And in all likelihood, no one is going to buy a ticket for a film they can see at home, which kind of makes the theatergoing experience seem moot.
In the end though, this is an investment, and for some reason or another, IMAX feels it can benefit from making Netflix an excluisve partner. As it stands though, that remians to be seen. As for me, well, as hectic as my day-to-day work schedule is, hopefully MoMA will grant me a enough commute time to make it to an 10:30pm showing. And I’m no night owl either. Bummer.
H/T: Variety, The Wrap
It’s been a long, long await for South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho as he sought to see his latest film, Snowpiercer, get its day in theaters around the world, including in North America. Evidently, as the film launched its success story with rave reviews from its previous releases in South Korea, Hong Kong and France, in addition to its positive test audience ratings for the director’s cut against TWC’s, the film suffered from a major snag last year as Harvey Weinstein felt it necessary to chop the film down for its U.S. audiences in southern states so it would sell better as a condensed action movie.
This obviously did not settle well with the director and it ultimately lead to a long and winding debate that kept the film’s North American release in an unnecessary state of limbo while Bong and TWC sorted out their differences, until Thursday night when Deadline reported that a deal has finally been reached for Bong to keep his two and a half-hour duration in exchange for limited theatrical release instead of a nationwide release as originally planned in 2012 when TWC acquired the rights.
Snowpiercer is based on a French graphic novel by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette and tells the story of a post-apocalyptic Earth where a failed experiment to stave off global warming has forced the planet’s remaining surviving inhabitants into a global train known as the Snowpiecer, where its survivors are broken into an oppressive class system that spills into war. The news comes just a little less than two months before the film’s lead actor, Chris Evans is set to appear in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Snowpiercer is written by Bong and screenwriter Kelly Masters, with actor Song Kang-ho, actresses Tilda Swinton and Allison Pill, actors John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris and Ewen Bremner, and actresses Octavia Spencer and Ah Sung-ko.
Stay tuned for more info.
The Grandmasters endured a long production stint which saw the film acquire of up to four hours of material, evidently cut down to two hours, along with additional edits prior to its pushed back release. China finally got its first look back in Janyary before beginning its rounds at the film festivals in Berlin and Hong Kong. You can read more about the film’s production at WongKarWai.net.