Netflix headed to the major theater chains for the 1st time with Glass Onion

The major movie theater chains may no longer have their knives out for Netflix. 

Glass Onion, Netflix’s follow-up to the 2019 murder mystery Knives Out, will be released in theaters for one week in November, and it will play at AMC, Regal, and Cinemark locations. Notably, that makes it the “first-ever Netflix film to debut across all three major U.S theatrical chains,” the streamer said

This was a major development after years of tension between Netflix and movie theater chains, which have declined to carry the streamer’s films. That was because of a dispute over how long a movie must play in theaters before it can be available to watch at home. For years, films were typically exclusive to theaters for around three months, but Netflix wanted to make their originals available to subscribers sooner than that. In 2019, Netflix was reportedly willing to let Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman play in theaters for 45 days before its streaming debut, but that wasn’t long enough for theaters at the time. 

Since then, though, the COVID-19 pandemic altered the business to the point that a 45 day window has become accepted practice, and major chains have even been willing to carry films that hit streaming at the same time as theaters. In the case of Glass Onion, the film will play theatrically the week of Thanksgiving, Nov. 23-29, and then hit Netflix a month later, on Dec. 23. 

This still falls short of a traditional theatrical run, as it will only play for one week and only in 600 theaters, compared to the thousands of theaters most major movies play in. Still, the chances are better than ever that going forward, Netflix’s original movies will coming to a theater near you.