In a noteworthy moment for Netflix, the three largest theater chains in the U.S. have all agreed to play upcoming tentpole Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery for one week over Thanksgiving, a month before the highly anticipated movie hits the streamer.
Rain Johnson’s highly anticipated sequel will open in approximately 600 cinemas over Thanksgiving. In addition to AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatres and Regal Cinemas, the film will also play in additional select locations in the U.S. and overseas.
The movie’s theatrical run is scheduled for Nov. 23-29, and is part of a campaign to further eventize the film, according to insiders.
“We’re excited to offer fans an exclusive sneak preview of Rian’s incredible film,” said Netflix film boss Scott Stuber in a statement. “Given the excitement surrounding the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, we hope fans will enjoy this special theatrical event in celebration of the film’s global debut on Netflix in December.”
While Cinemark carried certain Netflix titles during the pandemic, most major cinema circuits have historically refused to book a streaming title which is appearing so quickly in the home. Another major issue is marketing. While Hollywood studios are used to spending tens of millions on a theatrical campaign Netflix is not.
Sources have been telling THR for several months that marketing has become just as much of a stumbling block in regards to theaters negotiating with streamers as theatrical windows (in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, windows have collapsed dramatically across the industry).
The deal for Knives Out 2 would seem to be a win-win for all involved, since cinemas need product and it is only a one-week sneak preview at a time when screens will be in hot demand.
In deference to filmmakers, Netflix has for years given many of its film a theatrical run, but has generally had to rely on independent chains (it also has a stake in The Egyptian and Paris in Los Angeles and New York, respectively). And any film vying for awards needs a qualifying run on the big screen.
Knives Out 2 once again stars Daniel Craig as sleuth Benoit Blanc. This time he is joined by stars Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline with Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 10.
International markets where the film will play in theaters include Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.
The first Knives Out, released by Lionsgate in 2019, was a box office sensation, earning $311.6 million at the global box office. Netflix acquired the rights to two sequels in a $469 million megadeal announced in March 2021.
Films opening nationwide on Nov. 23 include Disney’s animated feature Strange World, Steven Spielberg’s The Fablemans, UAR’s Bones and All and Sony’s Devotion. Those will play in far more theaters, and even upwards of 3,000. And don’t rule out Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which should remain a powerhouse over the holiday after first hitting the big screen on Nov. 11