Theatre chain AMC has reversed its ban on showing Netflix’s “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” sequel, according to CEO Adam Aron.
While AMC had previously said it would boycott the release, Aron indicated a slight change of heart on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Monday.
“We actually did wind up, as a favour to IMAX, showing Crouching Tiger,” Aron said.
But it wasn’t a complete victory for Netflix. AMC only showed the film at 4 to 6 of its 153 IMAX screens, according to The Wrap, and none of its regular screens.
AMC is one of a host of theatre chains that has refused to show Netflix’s original films. The major sticking point is Netflix’s commitment to “day-and-date releases,” which means Netflix releases are available to stream on Netflix the same day as they arrive in theatres.
When Netflix originally announced its plans for “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” back in late 2014, the response from theatres, including market leader Regal, was uniformly negative.
“Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3″ wide on a smartphone. We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear,” Regal spokesman Russ Nunley said in a statement.
“It’s going to be very, very difficult for Netflix to get the major theatre chains to carry its movies,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett told The Los Angeles Times.