×

Netflix Releasing ‘Beasts of No Nation’ Simultaneously in Theaters and Streaming Service

Netflix will release “Beasts of No Nation” simultaneously in theaters and on its streaming service later this year.

The new-media giant stunned Hollywood this week when it plunked down $12 million for worldwide rights to the drama about a child soldier in Africa. It boasts a top-shelf cast that includes Idris Elba and arrives courtesy of director Cary Fukunaga, the auteur behind “Sin Nombre” and the buzzy HBO series “True Detective.”

Netflix stresses that the film would debut in “select” theaters — an important caveat given that its distribution platform will mean some exhibitors won’t show the film. Most major theater chains refuse to screen films that do not honor a 90-day delay between their theatrical debut and their home entertainment premiere. Netflix is partnering with Imax and the Weinstein Company on a sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” but most exhibitors are boycotting the film because it does not honor traditional release windows.

The company sounds like it has awards ambitions for the drama, so a theatrical run is essential in order for it to qualify for Oscars.

“‘Beasts of No Nation’ is a powerful film that unfolds beautifully in the hands of director Cary Fukunaga, with Idris Elba delivering a career-defining performance,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer. “We are so proud to bring a film of this caliber exclusively to Netflix members around the world at the same time as it appears in select theaters.”

Oscar voters have shown a willingness to vote for projects that do not adhere to traditional distribution modesl. Netflix has received Oscar nominations over the last two years for two documentaries — “The Square” in 2014 and “Virunga” this year — that were both released day-and-date in theaters and on its site. Likewise, “Margin Call” premiered simultaneously in theaters and on-demand in 2011 and earned a nomination for its screenplay.

Participant Media and Red Crown produced “Beasts of No Nation,” a $6 million drama shot last year in Ghana.

Fukunaga also wrote the “Beasts” script and produced along with Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker and Dan Crown.

Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King of Participant exec produced along with documentary filmmaker Bill Benenson and Laura Bickford.

More Film

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus Teases 'Charlie's Angels' Collaboration with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey

    Three of the biggest female pop stars have joined forces in a new song for the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot of “Charlie’s Angels.” In a tweet posted Wednesday, Miley Cyrus hinted at a collaboration between herself, Lana Del Rey, and Ariana Grande in the forthcoming film. Alongside a 14-second teaser, originally posted by Sony Pictures, the [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Subscription Program Hits 860k Members

    AMC’s subscription service, launched in 2018 as a challenger to MoviePass, has reached 860,129 members in its first 12 months. Given the unwieldy moniker of AMC Stubs A-List, the service costs between $19.95 to $23.95 per month depending on where users live. The company initially said it had hoped to sign up 500,000 members in [...]

  • Directors Guild Bans Day-and-Date Releases From

    Directors Guild Wades Into Streaming Movie Debate With Day-and-Date Awards Ban

    In a slap at streaming services, the Directors Guild of America has banned “day and date” releases from its top feature film award. The DGA announced Wednesday that it was taking the step “in recognition of the unique cultural importance of the theatrical experience to audiences and filmmakers alike.” Its national board unanimously approved the change [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    LGBTQ Groups Backing SAG-AFTRA in Member Privacy Fight Against IMDb

    SAG-AFTRA has announced that a coalition of national LGBTQ groups is backing the union in its fight for member privacy against IMDb. The groups include the National LGBTQ Task Force, the country’s oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group; GLAAD; the Transgender Law Center; the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; Transcend Legal, Inc.; and Equality Federation. [...]

  • Myst Computer Game

    'Myst' Film and TV Rights Sell to Village Roadshow

    “Myst,” the influential video game that helped usher in the CD-ROM era, may inspire an ambitious multi-platform film and television universe. Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, the co-producer and co-financier of the “Matrix” and “Sherlock Holmes” franchises, has acquired the rights to the first-person graphic adventure. For those born post-90s, “Myst” was wildly popular and hailed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content