Netflix and the theatrical industry have always had something of a frosty relationship, with the streaming service viewed as a noisy upstart looking to shift a business model that’s existed for a century into new and uncharted territory. While that’s true to a certain extent with more big budget blockbusters and prestige dramas than ever before never seeing the inside of a cinema, deals have been reached in the past.
Movies like Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma played exclusively on the big screen before migrating to Netflix, which was admittedly partly due to the rules in place at the time that meant a film couldn’t be considered for Academy Awards recognition if it hadn’t scored a theatrical release.
However, Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead most definitely wasn’t gunning for Best Picture, but scored Netflix’s widest ever rollout after premiering one week ahead of time on up to 600 screens, although it only managed to pull in little over a million dollars at the box office, which was admittedly still good enough for a place in that weekend’s Top 10.
We’re now hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us the Snyder Cut of Justice League was heading to HBO Max long before it was made official – that the filmmaker is reportedly pushing for Army of the Dead 2 to get a full release, which would presumably mean thousands of screens nationwide.
The dynamic between the theatrical industry and streaming has become more contentious than ever during the COVID-19 era, as Scarlett Johansson will surely attest, so it’s difficult to imagine Netflix losing out on that sweet, sweet viewership data and social media buzz by giving away such a hotly-anticipated sequel ahead of time. Then again, the business is more fluid than ever right now, so it can’t be ruled out by any stretch of the imagination, either.