AP, Netflix

Why the New Martin Scorsese Movie Won’t Get a Wide Theatrical Release and Will Quickly Head to TV

Aug 27, 2019  •  Post A Comment

The new Martin Scorsese movie, which reportedly cost about $200 million to make and stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, will open in theaters Nov. 1 but it won’t be getting a traditional wide theatrical release.

The movie, “The Irishman,” is from Netflix, which says it will run the movie in theaters for about four weeks before it begins streaming it Nov. 27.

“Because of the film’s pedigree, theater owners had lobbied Netflix to give ‘The Irishman’ a traditional, wide release,” the AP reports. “But the major theater chains, including AMC and Cinemark, have refused to play movies that don’t adhere to the standard 90-day exclusivity window. Netflix instead has said the film will be released in select theaters.”

The movie, about hitman and Jimmy Hoffa associate Frank Sheeran, is one of Netflix’s most expensive films to date. It will open the New York Film Festival on Sept. 27.

The AP notes that Scorsese, the film’s director, “is one of the most ardent proponents of cinema preservation, but Scorsese earlier told The Associated Press that he signed up with Netflix without any condition of a theatrical release.”

The report adds: “Netflix last fall first began releasing certain titles in theaters first, beginning with Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma,’ the Coen brothers’ ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ and the Sandra Bullock thriller ‘Bird Box.’ This fall, they will expand that strategy to more films and, in some cases, elongate theatrical runs to about four weeks.”


  1. Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino, Pesci.

    Love them all.

    But this movie looks really bad.

    Now get your shine box.

  2. The major theater chains need to work with Netflix and the other streamers and be more open to a three or four week run. A movie like this would have a huge opening weekend if nationally distributed. After three- four weeks most films (other than Disney) are fading and even the chains are reducing the screens and theaters where they are shown. A national run is beneficial to both sides as the theaters will get a big weekend and the streamers will have a film that as lots of word of mouth that will drive subscribers.

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