A new feature film that has already received Oscar buzz faces a boycott in the U.S. from four major theater chains. Variety reports that “Beasts of No Nation,” starring Idris Elba, is being boycotted by the theaters because it will be shown by Netflix simultaneously with its theatrical release.
The streaming service this week bought the rights to the movie for $12 million, reportedly following a bidding war.
“Four of the country’s … largest exhibitors — AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike — separately told Variety that they do not plan to show the drama about child soldiers in Africa because they do not want to provide screens to films that do not honor what is typically a 90-day delay between a theatrical debut and a home entertainment release,” the publication reports.
Variety notes: “In a release touting the deal, Netflix said the picture will have a qualifying run for Oscar consideration in ‘select theaters’ later this year — language that seemed to acknowledge that ‘Beasts of No Nation’ will have trouble securing a berth in many theaters.”
Netflix also got into a dispute with theater owners last fall when it revealed plans to work in partnership with The Weinstein Company and Imax on distribution of the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel.
Industry sources indicated that “Beasts of No Nation,” written and directed by “True Detective” director and producer Cary Fukunaga, could still be distributed by between 200 and 250 arthouses and indie theaters. The movie stars four-time Emmy nominee Elba, known for playing Stringer Bell on “The Wire.”