Netflix’s ‘Army of the Dead’ Will Get Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming
Netflix will be releasing Zack Snyder’s upcoming zombie thriller Army of the Dead in 200 Cinemark theaters across the country. According to Variety, the movie will play in around 600 theaters total, including Landmark, Alamo Drafthouse, and Harkins. It will be Netflix’s first movie to have debut in theaters since the start of the pandemic, and the first ever Netflix title to have a wide theatrical release.
Army of the Dead will play exclusively in cinemas for one week beginning on May 14 before it heads to the streaming platform on May 21. Its spread will be nowhere near as big as Nobody or Godzilla vs. Kong, which played in more than 3,000 locations each. Regal and AMC have decided to pass on the Netflix film due to the incredibly short theatrical window.
Prior to the pandemic, Netflix original movies would only play in smaller theater chains — like Alamo Drafthouse and Landmark — before premiering online. A typical theatrical window lasted for 90 days, after which a movie could transition to an online streamer. But once Covid-19 upended the film industry, all bets were off. Studios such as Warner Bros. started striking up unconventional deals with theaters to allow films to appear both in theaters and online at the same time.
Now, Cinemark is ready to play ball with Netflix’s one-week window, because the release landscape has changed so drastically in the past year. Netflix has never been all that concerned with box office numbers. Instead, they’ve catered towards their subscribers, counting on new user engagement rather than ticket sales. But Army of the Dead will mark a new development for the streamer, which will continue to work with Cinemark in the future.
“Cinemark is excited to work with Netflix on our first wide release and provide movie lovers the opportunity to see Army of the Dead in our theaters across the U.S.,” said Justin McDaniel, Cinemark’s senior VP of global content strategy. “Zack Snyder fans will love seeing the action in an immersive, cinematic environment with larger-than-life sight and sound technology.”
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