Everyone understands that Netflix has to open Roma in a strong “look at us!” theatrical fashion in order to overcome or at least lessen old-school naysayer sentiments in the Academy and the guilds — i.e., those who’ve resented the generally non-theatrical feature release strategy that Netflix has followed in recent years.
Boiled down, Roma has to impress everyone as a movie-theatre event first and for a decent period of time, and a Netflix streamer second. The more noticable Roma‘s theatrical presence is in the early stages, the better chance it has at not only landing nominations but winning Best Picture, Best Director and so on.
Collider‘s Jeff Sneider is reporting that Netflix is “planning to release Roma in select theaters on Nov. 30 — two weeks BEFORE it hits the streaming service. Initial theatrical release would be more than just NY/LA, but fewer than the 12 markets where the film was set to debut on Dec. 14.”
In other words Alfonso Cuaron‘s film is opening early because Netflix honchos (and particularly in-house Academy consultant Lisa Taback) are sensing that it’ll be better to open theatrically without concurrent streaming availability — a full two weeks of theatres-only, big-screen exposure.
This strikes me as a strong pro-theatrical statement that will go down well. But will it matter to the hardcores who want everything to be theatrical and don’t want to know about streaming until at least 60 or preferably 90 days have passed?