Landmark Theatres, known for its art-house offerings, has quietly been on the market for purchase since some time now. However, two would be buyers have shown their potential interest in the property this week: Netflix and Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios.
The names of these two companies coming to the forefront shows the new changes taking place in the movie industry. Going by the current scenario where the ticket sales are on a decline, purchasing a theater does not come with the same profitability margins that once prevailed. But still, there are other benefits that can appeal the unconventional owners.
Netflix, which is on a lookout to qualify its movies for awards consideration as major theatre chains do not largely show Netflix films, looked at the Landmark Theatres chain. However, according to some of the sources, the chain is not interested in the company.
This year, Netflix has earned four Oscar nominations for Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” but the company still has to crack and win the best picture race with one of its movies. Even though the streaming service giant has had releases such as “Okja” and “First They Killed My Father”, none of the major theatre chains will release a movie if it is simultaneously available on a home platform. So if Netflix successfully owns a theater then it would be able to overcome this barrier.
On the other hand, Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has also shown interest to own Landmark Theatre as a way to give higher profile to the newer distributor in Hollywood. Some studios believe that they need to align themselves more closely to the theatrical experience.
Notably, the Landmark Theatre chain sale is a signal of the changing business structure today. Studios are worried that their movies are not going to do well enough when they screen in theatres and so they are planning to start spending money to bring in changes.