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Netflix Ramps Up Its Movie Ambitions With Mercy And A New Bob Odenkirk Film

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Netflix continues to ramp up its movie ambitions after the success of Beasts of No Nation. The streaming firm has acquired two new indie films, says a report from the Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix grabs two more titles

One of the films features Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk. The streaming firm has acquired Girlfriend’s Day, which is a “noir comedy,” where Odenkirk plays the role of a greeting card writer, who is determined to prove himself innocent after being accused of murder. Odenkirk is also the co-writer of the film, and it will be directed by Michael Stephenson.

Netflix has also acquired Mercy, which has been completed recently. The thriller revolves around two brothers, who reunite at their family home to attend their dying mother, but find themselves in a home invasion scenario. Mercy is written and directed by Chris Sparling, who is known for his script Buried.

Both the titles will release in 2016, and will be available simultaneously on Netflix, as well as, in movie theaters. Such an approach has been a part of Netflix’s constant push in its movie efforts despite the oppositions from many exhibitors.

Facing resistance from theater chains

In 2014, the streaming firm announced that its first original firm – a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – will be released on IMAX screens and online. This plan faced resistance from theater chains, who worried that this day-and-date release would eat into their movie theater business.

The fight over day-and-date releases has been going on for years. Back in 2011, Universal planned to release the movie Tower Heist earlier on video-on-demand, but the pushback from the exhibitor’s forced the media firm to change it plans.

When it comes to movies, Netflix is not relying on just one approach. For its upcoming Adam Sandler films, the streaming firm is not partnering with the theaters, but plans to release the film online only. But for Beasts of No Nation, the company released the movie in small theaters, but avoided big chains like AMC and Regal.

With this approach, Netflix is likely working on slowly normalizing the practice of releasing the movie on its platform and in movie theaters at the same time. Going forward, the streaming firm will be hoping to build up enough clout to convince larger theater chains to join in.

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