At the top of that list is Noah Baumbach‘s divorce drama Marriage Story starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. If there’s one film that Netflix really thinks has a shot at Best Picture this year, it’s Marriage Story, not The Irishman. Trust me. Want proof? It hits the big screen on Nov. 6 and will play in theaters for a full month before the film debuts on the streaming service on Dec. 6. That’s longer than the 23-day theatrical window given to Roma, and the 26-day window that is being afforded to The Irishman.
Most of Netflix’s other major fall films will receive a 2-3 week theatrical window, and keep in mind that these films won’t play larger chains like AMC, which insists on a 90-day theatrical window, so as to avoid setting a precedent that major studios will be able to point to later. That means they’ll likely wind up at your local Landmark, Laemmle or iPic theater, which Netflix typically rents out itself.
First up is Steven Soderbergh‘s The Laundromat starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas. It will be released in select theaters on Sept. 27 and debut on Netflix on Oct. 18. The following week, Netflix will release Craig Brewer‘s Dolemite is My Name in select theaters on Oct. 4, and the film will begin streaming three weeks later on Oct. 25. The same goes for David Michôd’s The King starring Timothée Chalamet and Joel Edgerton, which will open in theaters on Oct. 11 before hitting Netflix on Nov. 1.
That very same day, the Alicia Vikander movie Earthquake Bird will open against The Irishman in select locations before debuting on Netflix just two weeks later on Nov. 15. And don’t sleep on Fernando Meirelles’ The Two Popes starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, which will be released in select theaters on Nov. 27 before arriving on Netflix on Dec. 20. That film, along with Marriage Story, The King and The Laundromat, is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which kicks off Wednesday and runs through Sept. 7
Finally, Sergio Pablos’ animated feature Klaus will receive one week of theatrical exclusivity, as it will open in select cinemas on Nov. 8 before screening on Netflix Nov. 15, and the Cannes award winners I Lost My Body and Mati Diop‘s Atlantics will both play for two weeks on the big screen beginning Nov. 15, before streaming on Nov. 29.
The Laundromat opens against Universal’s animated movie Abominable, while Dolemite will take on DC’s Joker and The King will do battle with Gemini Man and The Addams Family. Meanwhile, the release date for Marriage Story gives it a two-day jump on Amazon’s Honey Boy, another family drama that’s inspired by true events.
Of course, Netflix won’t be too concerned with competition at the box office, as the streamer doesn’t release theatrical grosses, leaving reporters and analysts to estimate ticket sales. But Netflix does recognize the importance of a theatrical release when it comes to awards season, and that element has always been part of the company’s pitch to top filmmakers such as Scorsese, Baumbach, and in this case, Soderbergh. In fact, the Academy nearly created a new rule requiring a four-week run in theaters, though it ultimately did not proceed with such a requirement.
I’ll be talking about all of these movies and more on the upcoming season of For Your Consideration with Scott Mantz and Perri Nemiroff, so please remember to tune in when that show returns!