Netflix still really, really wants the Best Picture Oscar, and it looks like the streaming giant will try even harder to win it in 2020.
At this year's Oscars, Netflix failed to nab the top prize with Roma, and pundits have speculated this had everything to do with the company's untraditional release strategy. Many Oscars voters take issue with Netflix only releasing its movies in limited theaters for a few weeks at most before debuting them online, whereas a traditional studio movie won't be available outside of theaters for three months.
But Netflix is brushing itself off and trying again with The Irishman, the Martin Scorsese film that will release this fall. The Hollywood Reporter says Netflix is in discussions to give this film a wide release. Details remain unclear, but major theater chains like AMC don't play movies without 90 days of exclusivity, which Netflix has never before offered (although rival streamer Amazon Prime Video has). If they go wide, Netflix's box office figures would be reported for the first time.
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At least part of the reason for giving The Irishman a wide release is that Scorsese reportedly wants one. But the company's desire for more Oscar gold also seems to be a factor, especially as its reportedly "looking at its release strategy" for five other films that could receive awards recognition. The Reporter notes that this comes as some members of the Academy are trying to enact a new rule to disqualify any film that doesn't play exclusively in theaters for four weeks from the top awards.
While Netflix hasn't yet confirmed this reporting, The Irishman's teaser already hinted at a shift in attitude for the company. "In theaters this fall," the end of the trailer proudly declared, followed by — almost as an afterthought — "... and on Netflix."
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