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NETFLIX STRIKES BACK AT THEATER OWNERS

November 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos stepped up his battle with theater owners on Wednesday, accusing them of keeping "outdated" distribution models in place that can no longer be justified. Sarandos recently riled the owners when he announced that Netflix, along with the Weinstein Company, will back the production of a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, called The Green Legend, and release it simultaneously on its streaming service and on IMAX. Theater chains Regal, Carmike and Cinemark quickly released statements saying that they would not run the movie if those plans were carried out. Speaking at the fifth annual U.S./China Film Summit in Los Angeles, Sarandos maintained that such a unique distribution scheme can be profitable for all parties. "We can monetize it through subscription and IMAX can monetize it through ticket sales," he said. He sidestepped the question of whether the project will open the door for Netflix’s entry into the Chinese market. "It’s a very complex operation market for foreign companies," he said. Nevertheless, he insisted that making a film based on a Chinese story and starring Chinese actors was not a ploy to woo Chinese film regulators. "I don’t have a team thinking ‘how are we going to get into China?’" he said. "We’re going to get there by having great content that everyone wants to see."