Here’s an interesting bit of industry news for you this morning. After disrupting the home video market, Netflix is getting into the film distribution business: they’ve teamed with The Weinstein Company to release Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Dragon – a sequel to the wildly successful, Oscar-winning original – on their streaming service and in IMAX theaters on the same day. “Day and date” releases have become more common in recent years, but this is the first time a brand new major film will be released on a platform like Netflix instead of charging $10 or $15 dollars to see it through your cable company’s VOD option.
Here’s a quote from the press release describing the film:
Produced by The Weinstein Company, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend echoes the themes of the original movie, but tells its own story — one of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World.
Directed by the renowned martial arts choreographer (The Matrix Trilogy and Kill Bill 1&2) and director (Tai Chi Master) Yuen Wo-Ping, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend stars Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Lady) reprising her role as Yu Shu-Lien and Donnie Yen (Ip Man 1&2, Monkey King 3D) as Silent Wolf.
If this (and the number of other planned-but-unnamed films that Netflix and the Weinsteins will team on for similar release strategies in the future) is successful, it could be a game-changing moment for the film industry. Regal Cinemas has already said that they will not be presenting the Crouching Tiger sequel in the IMAX theaters they control, because from a theater’s point of view, they’re scared that giving people the option to see a movie at home the same day it plays in theaters will result in everyone staying at home. This has been on the forefront of theater owners’ minds for years now, as the home theater experience has grown exponentially better in the past decade.
Trust me: all eyes will be on this film when it debuts next year, because this could have huge repercussions for how studios spend their money to market and distribute films.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Dragon is available on Netflix and in (some) IMAX theaters on August 28, 2015. Planning on seeing it? How will you watch it – at home, or on the big screen?
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