Netflix goes to the movies, but only for a week.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, the new crime novel starring Daniel Craig, will be released in all three major US theater chains, AMC, Regal and Cinemark, for one week, one month before it airs on Netflix the company announced on Thursday. Glass Onion will be the first film to do so, according to the streaming giant.
The sequel to the 2019 hit “Knives Out” will play in 600 theaters in the United States from November 23-29 before debuting on Netflix (NFLX) globally on December 23.
The news is notable given the strained relationship between theaters and Netflix in the past. While some of the streamer’s movies have been shown in theaters, most major networks have refused to put Netflix movies on the big screen, as the two sides could never agree on how long a movie would last. It should only be shown in theaters.
The decision to put “Glass Onion” in theaters, even for just one week, is a win for both sides.
For Netflix, theaters will likely help turn the movie into an event, with the potential to give it far more cultural relevance than if it were only shown in homes. It may also generate word of mouth for the film, which has received rave reviews after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.
The film would only be shown for one week in theaters, but it is an *exclusive* week. If you want to see “Glass Onion,” you’ll have to buy a ticket a month in advance, which could lead to more foot traffic and increased concession sales to theaters.
“We’re excited to give fans an exclusive sneak peek at Rian’s incredible film,” Scott Stuber, Netflix’s head of global filmmaking, said in a statement Thursday. “Given the excitement surrounding the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, we hope fans will enjoy this special theatrical event to celebrate the film’s worldwide debut on Netflix in December.”
Director Rian Johnson added that he is “thrilled that Netflix has worked with AMC, Regal and Cinemark to bring Glass Onion to theaters for this one-of-a-kind sneak peek.”
“These movies are made to thrill audiences, and I can’t wait to feel the energy of audiences as they experience ‘Glass Onion,’” he said. “Between this and the release on Netflix in December, I am excited that audiences around the world will be able to enjoy the film.”
Tickets go on sale October 10.
It is not clear if this it’s a one-off fix or a first step for theaters and Netflix.
If it’s the latter, it could help both parties. Netflix, which has had a rough year, could use the help of theaters to give its films more impact and an additional revenue stream, while theaters, which had a solid summer at the box office before seeing a sell-out their slate in recent months, they could use more movies.