A change in policy from Picturehouse is being introduced, as the battle between cinema and streaming releases intensifies.
The British theatrical distribution system seems to be gradually standing against the likes of Netflix, and the ultra-short theatrical release window before a film is made available on streaming platforms.
Already, we’ve seen Vue Cinemas protest to BAFTA about it choosing to give Netflix production Roma – a film that many cinemas tried to programme but struggled to do so – its Best Picture gong at its recent film awards.
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Then came the news that Cineworld wasn’t happy either, to the point where it’s withdrawn Cineworld benefits from BAFTA members.
Now, Screen is reporting that Picturehouse – a part of the Cineworld empire – is going one stage further. From this point onwards, it will only show films at Picturehouse cinemas that adhere to the traditional 16 week gap between a cinema release and its home entertainment availability.
This will affect many indie films too, that have been earmarking home streaming releases on the day of their cinema unveiling.
Documentaries, however, will be exempt from the change inpolicy.
It’ll be interesting to see what other cinema chains do, as the pushback against streaming services all but bypassing cinemas continues. We’ll keep you posted.