A few weeks ago, outlets including the New York Times reported the unsurprising news that theaters chains and Netflix were scuffling over release plans for the streamer’s big awards-season movie of the year. As with 2018’s Roma, chains including AMC Theaters and Cineplex were standing firm on requiring the movie to play in theaters for three months without simultaneously streaming in order to score wide-release access. Well, the Hollywood Reporter now reveals that the skirmish has reached an impasse, and not even the directorial prowess of Martin Scorsese nor the combined star/reunion power of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are enough to lift The Irishman to a wide-release.
Similar to the eventual Roma plan, The Irishman will play for less than a month in limited release before departing for the streaming platform. This is the case, reportedly, despite Scorsese pushing hard for a different result:
The Irishman will open in select indie cinemas willing to carry the drama on Nov. 1. More than three weeks later — or 26 days to be exact — it will debut Nov. 27 on Netflix, much as Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-nominated Roma did last year. This rules out the sort of big-screen blitz Scorsese and other seasoned directors are used to, unless something changes at the 11th hour.
Variety adds their own reported details that claim how, “privately,” theater owners really wanted to screen this movie and were hoping that Netflix would budge on their date (and agree to 70 days for an exclusive theatrical window) to start streaming the movie for subscribers. For whatever reason, though, the two sides did not find common ground, but maybe that will change in the near future. This is becoming a yearly occurrence, and it’s natural that theater owners would want a bigger run for their investment in screening the movie, and it’s also understandable that Netflix wants the film’s expensive de-aging process to get millions and millions of streaming views. Yet for now, the theater-streaming rivalry shall continue.