Netflix's The Irishman to play at Belasco Theatre, NY

Lawrence Kim
October 9, 2019

After butting-heads with movie theaters, Netflix has made a decision to get creative with Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. This is in addition to the limited theatrical rollout that Netflix is giving the gangster drama, which kicks off on November 1 in Los Angeles and NY, with plans to expand into smaller chains around the country after that.

Although produced for subscription TV service Netflix, the three-and-a-half hour drama starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci is receiving a limited theatrical release - including at New York's historic Belasco Theatre, long a venue for Broadway drama and musicals.

Typically, most of the big theatres prefer a 90-day window before a movie can be released to a network, as this ensures that have a monopoly on the movie viewing and allowing them to maximise their profits, especially considering that the studio takes most of the proceeds in the first few weeks of release before they to take a higher percentage of the proceeds.

Deadline reports that many major theatre chains in the U.S. are refusing to screen the movie because it will be released on Netflix only 3 weeks later and they don't feel it is profitable for them to screen a movie for such a short time, as most people will probably wait for it to make its way to Netflix anyway. Extra matinee screenings shall be added on weekends.

Like most theaters, the Belasco will be closed on Mondays. James Gunn was the primary to answer the filmmaker's feedback, saying he was "saddened" Scorsese was judging his movies in that means. "The opportunity to recreate that singular experience at the historic Belasco Theatre is incredibly exciting". Martin Scorsese had this to say about his upcoming Broadway run in a statement. Still, it was important for Scorsese to get his movie into theaters, and not just have it go straight to streaming.

Netflix signaled earlier this year that it was hoping to cut more deals for broader theatrical releases, and the platform even agreed to start showing films in theaters prior to a streaming release in hopes that would help it make inroads in negotiations.

The film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in modern American history, the 1975 disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa [played by Al Pacino] and according to the official synopsis "offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics".

"It's an huge honor for The Irishman to be welcomed to the Belasco, an iconic and historic landmark fit for Scorsese's latest cinematic achievement". Thus far, it has an unblemished 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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