Netflix Could Start Buying Movie Theaters to Help Films Gain a Boost in Oscar Race — Report

Netflix has made a strong effort to land Oscar nominations since debuting its first original feature, “Beasts of No Nation,” in 2015. The next step in the streaming giant’s plan to secure film awards could be to buy and own movie theaters. A new report from the Los Angeles Times says Netflix is considering buying theaters in Los Angeles and New York in order to gain a boost during Oscar season. People familiar with the situation say the theaters would be used to give greater exposer to the feature and documentary titles Netflix is hoping to push into the awards race.

According to the Times, Netflix executives originally considered purchasing the Los Angeles-based Landmark Theaters, which is co-owned by Mark Cuban. The theaters are well known for attracting awards voters by running first-run features, documentaries, and foreign films during Oscar season. Two people speaking on condition of anonymity said the streaming company recently backed off idea. Landmark has three Los Angeles locations and 53 theaters overall in the U.S.

“Netflix wants to establish itself as a critical exhibition source on both coasts,” a source told the Times. “For awards consideration they need to be able to release pictures on screens in major markets.”

Netflix currently uses a day-and-date strategy to release its awards titles, which means films become available to stream on Netflix the same day they open in select theaters. The streaming company has used this release strategy in the past with “Beasts of No Nation,” “Okja,” “The Meyerowitz Stories,” and “Mudbound,” which earned four Oscar nominations earlier this year.

However, Netflix films often struggle to …..

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