Netflix is giving Paul Greengrass’ new film 22 July their biggest theatrical release yet. The drama from the United 93 director is set to roll out on October 10 on approximately 100 screens worldwide, making it one of Netflix’s biggest theatrical releases to date. 22 July will also be available on Netflix’s online service the same day.
22 July looks at a 2011 terrorist attack in Norway on the titular date as well as explores how survivors of the event deal with the trauma.
This looks to be the first step in a shifting of the usual distribution models for the primarily streaming and DVD/blu-ray rental by mail service. Previously, most of the film content that Netflix has secured went straight to their online service for subscribers to watch. Exceptions were made for a few films that such as Mudbound and First They Killed My Father (2017) that were thought to have award season potential. Those films were given extremely limited releases in accordance with the various award requirements.
Nexflix had previously indicated that they would be looking at expanding their theatrical distribution. While the company is still going day-and-date with this release, the expanded screen count is encouraging. Most theater chains are resistant to booking films that will have simultaneous theatrical and streaming/VOD releases, but for 22 July, Netflix has managed to convince some smaller art house chains including Landmark, IFC, Alamo and Laemmle to screen the film.
The film is currently set for theatrical roll out in Los Angeles, New York City, Albany, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.
In addition to 22 July, Variety is reporting that Netflix is considering giving another Academy Awards contender – Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma – an exclusive theatrical run later this year. Such a move could very well likely entice larger theater chains into exhibiting the film as well.