Netflix has released several Oscar-worthy films, including 2015’s Beasts of No Nation and last year’s Mudbound, which earned four Oscar nominations and made history with Dee Rees becoming the first black woman nominated for best adapted screenplay and Mary J. Blige becoming the first black woman to receive multiple nominations in the same year. But Netflix is hoping the entertainment company can boost its shot at more Oscars by buying movie theaters.
According to IndieWire via the Los Angeles Times, Netflix is considering buying theaters in New York and Los Angeles to boost its films’ Oscar chances during awards season. Buying theaters would give the streaming service’s documentaries and features more exposure. This would vastly help Netflix become a bigger player during awards season since one of the main drawbacks of Netflix’s current day-and-date release schedule is that because films available for select theater screenings are also available for streaming the same day, it’s hard for films to create or maintain any audience buzz.
One L.A. location Netflix has considered according to sources is Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theaters. According to IndieWire, Landmark Theaters are known as a hub for Academy voters thanks to the theaters’ screenings of first-run features, foreign films and documentaries during the critical Oscar season. Netflix hasn’t made any official plans to extend an offer.
Industry insiders, reported the Times, said Mudbound would have gotten more attention from voters if it had a wider release.