Netflix has struck deals with European cinema giant Vue International and Cineworld to put “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” in British movie theaters.
The film will screen at select Vue and Cineworld cinemas across the U.K. an entire month before the movie hits the streaming service. “Glass Onion” will play on the big screen from Nov. 23-29, and then leave cinemas for three weeks before dropping on Netflix on Dec. 23. (Tickets are now on sale for the U.K. cinema run.)
The release will pacify exhibitors that are still concerned about a lack of theatrical product coming out of the pandemic, while the limited exposure will also help Netflix market the film properly before its wide release on the platform in December.
The streamer first revealed its plans for a week-long “sneak preview” of the movie last week. “Given the excitement surrounding the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, we hope fans will enjoy this special theatrical event in celebration of the film’s global debut on Netflix in December,” said Scott Stuber, head of global film for Netflix.
Tim Richards, founder and CEO of Vue International, tells Variety that the cinema giant has been working on the Netflix deal for “a long time.”
“We’re really excited because this is going to help demonstrate to the subscription services that there’s a huge market for their movies on our screens and it won’t hurt or cannibalize their releases,” says Richards.
The executive, who is also chairman of the British Film Institute, hints that other streaming players such as Amazon Prime Video and Apple aren’t far behind in hammering out similar types of deals.
“Everyone’s going to be watching this release,” promises Richards. “Unfortunately, they can’t base an entire model on one film, but hopefully it will be the beginning of a lot more.”
Discussions are ongoing for the film to play at Vue in Italy and Germany, at The Space and CinemaxX, respectively. Overall, Netflix plans to release the film in 600 cinemas around the world.
Director Rian Johnson said in a statement that he was “over the moon” that Netflix had worked with the likes of Cineworld’s Regal, Cinemark and AMC to get the movie into cinemas ahead of the streaming release.
“These movies are made to thrill audiences, and I can’t wait to feel the energy of the crowd as they experience ‘Glass Onion,’” said Johnson. “Between this and the release on Netflix in December, I’m excited that audiences around the world will be able to enjoy the film!”
The follow-up to Johnson’s 2019 box office hit, which made more than $311 million worldwide and earned an Oscar nomination, sees franchise star Daniel Craig back as super sleuth Benoit Blanc. He’s joined for a new murder mystery by a star-studded cast of suspects, including Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista. The film was again written and directed by Johnson, who also produced the project alongside his partner Ram Bergman under their T-Street banner.