Netflix is expanding

Dalton Gackle

Netflix is expanding their hold on the entertainment world.

On Friday, October 16, Netflix is making a push into the movie industry.

Not only have they been producing top-notch, short format programming – basically what you see on television – for several years, but they are now producing feature films.

Friday marks the release of their anticipated jump into the industry, with a dramatic action film entitled, “Beasts of No Nation.”

“Just like we’ve changed the game for TV watchers by releasing entire seasons around the world at the same time, we have begun making movies that will premiere on Netflix globally and in some cases, simultaneously in theaters,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a blog post.

“Beasts of No Nation” centers around a west-African boy whose father is murdered, forcing him to become a child soldier for a group of mercenaries.

The mercenaries are led by a commandant, portrayed by Idris Elba. American audiences will recognize Elba as Heimdall from the Thor films.

The film is one of those set to release simultaneously on Netflix and in theaters.

However, most of the major theater conglomerates are boycotting the film in their cinemas because theaters are traditionally given exclusive rights to the film for the first 90 days after its release.

Releasing it on Netflix does not follow that protocol.

“Studio licensing practices means it often takes m ore than a year before consumers can watch a theatrically released movie when and how they want,” Sarandos said.

After Beasts of No Nation, Netflix plans to release several more films this year, including an Adam Sandler flick, Ridiculous Six. Sandler signed a four-picture deal with Netflix.

Also, Netflix announced in the blog post that, starting in 2016, they have gained the exclusive rights to show Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel films after their theatrical releases.

Lucasfilm is the George Lucas-run company that has produced the likes of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Netflix also secured non-exclusive deals with Sony Animation, Universal and Dreamworks.

The films may come out on Netflix before they are out of theaters.

“The majority of these films will arrive on Netflix faster than traditional arrangements had previously allowed,” Sarandos said.

On the flip-side, Netflix did not renew its deal with Epix, who provided films such as the Hunger Games and the James Bond films.

Netflix did not have exclusive rights with Epix.

“While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix and are subject to the same drawn-out, licensing periods,” Sarandos said. “Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience.”

That movie experience begins Friday. (kind of a weird ending..)