Under the pact, the movies from indie filmmakers and thesps Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass will have a brief theatrical release of unspecified length, before becoming available exclusively on Netflix.
Netflix’s pact with the fraternal duo comes after the No. 1 subscription VOD service last fall announced its entry into the movie biz. That included a four-movie exclusive deal with Adam Sandler and an agreement with Weinstein Co. and Imax to debut the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously in theaters and on Netflix in August 2015.
The Duplass brothers are executive producers of bawdy sex comedy “The Bronze,” which premiered Thursday at the Sundance Film Festival. Jay and Mark Duplass, natives of New Orleans, are also the creators of HBO comedy series “Togetherness,” which premiered on the premium cabler Jan. 11, and have produced and directed several independent films including “Cyrus,” “Jeff Who Lives at Home” and “The Puffy Chair.”
In an interview with Variety at Sundance last year, Mark Duplass said that “the most important part of making a movie is making sure that film streams on Netflix.”
“My first movie made a grand total of $220,000 in theaters but about 5 million people have seen it on Netflix because they can click on it and they can try it out,” he said. “And so I really recommend to get your get goddamn movie on Netflix. It made my career.”
In addition to their directing and producing activities, Mark Duplass is a series regular in FX’s “The League,” while Jay appears in Amazon’s “Transparent.”
Netflix’s foray into film has drawn ire from big U.S. cinema chains, which have avowed to not exhibit “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend,” slated for Aug. 28, 2015, release.
Meanwhile, Amazon Studios has subsequently thrown its hat into the movie ring, hiring indie mainstay Ted Hope to produce or acquire about a dozen films per year with budgets pegged at between $5 million and $25 million. Amazon says its movies will have a theatrical window of 4-8 weeks.
News of Netflix’s deal with the Duplass brothers was first reported by Deadline.com.