Netflix confirms theatrical release for Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma

Confirming what has long been an open secret in the international film business, Netflix has tweeted that Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma will receive a theatrical release.

Breaking its own non-theatrical policy, Netflix also confirmed that two other titles it has acquired or financed are headed for the big screen – the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs and Susanne Bier’s Bird Box.

The Tweet said: “For those wanting to see ROMA on the biggest screen possible, select markets will be able to watch in theaters AND on Netflix. Watch for special theatrical presentations of Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs from the Coen Brothers, and Bird Box from Susanne Bier.”

Roma, which has been tipped as an Oscar favourite since winning the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, will receive a limited theatrical release in Los Angeles, New York and Mexico on November 21, before being rolled out to additional US cities and London on November 29.

Around 20 international territories will begin releasing the film on December 7, one week before it debuts on the Netflix platform on December 14. However, some territories won’t release the film until after it has been streamed.

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs, starring Liam Neeson and Zoe Kazan, will have a limited US and London theatrical release on November 8, before it streams on Netflix on November 16. Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, will have a limited US and London release starting December 13 and stream on December 21.

Netflix usually pushes for an exclusive debut on its streaming platform, claiming that the company’s priority is its 137 millions global subscribers. But all three of these titles are picking up Oscars and awards season heat, which strengthens the case for a theatrical rollout.

Most major US cinema chains, including Regal and AMC, refuse to show films unless they comply with a 90-day theatrical window, but smaller chains are willing to play Netflix titles with a shorter window.