As streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are building more original content, documentaries have become a major attraction for these companies to acquire or develop on their own.
Netflix has been leading the charge in original nonfiction works with the recent success of their “The Jinx”-like true-crime series “Making a Murderer,” and receiving Oscar nominations for documentaries they have acquired like “The Square” (2013), and “Virunga” (2014).
But when it comes to the direct-to-stream route Michael Moore is one filmmaker you won’t see doing a deal with Netflix and the rest.
“It is crucial that documentaries that are made for a theatrical audience have theatrical distribution,” Moore told Business Insider in a recent interview. “I think for the audience it’s much better to see some of these films with 200 other people in a dark theatre than home alone.”
Moore’s new movie, “Where To Invade Next,” follows the Oscar-winning filmmaker as he travels to countries around the world to highlight things he believes other countries are doing better than the United States. The documentary was a hot item to purchase when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. There were even rumours among industry attendees at the festival that Netflix was interested in buying the worldwide rights to the film.
But Moore decided to go with a yet-to-be-named upstart company made by former Radius Founders, the streaming arm of The Weinstein Company, and the founder of the Alamo Drafthouse. The film has already played theatrically in New York and Los Angeles, and will play at more theatres in February.
“I have to be honest, when I’m watching a movie on television or my computer, I don’t really in my head think that I’m watching a movie,” said Moore.
This isn’t to say that “Where To Invade Next” won’t be available on streaming services in the future. But for the initial run, Moore was adamant his film be shown in traditional theatres.
“I and the others that make these movies for theatres, we make them for a 50-foot screen,” said Moore. “We make them to be experienced with others, because you’re going to have a different emotional response. The laughter, the crying, the anger, whatever it is. And I think there’s something very valuable about that.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.