Lights, camera, action! Netflix goes to Hollywood

Netflix's feature presentation
Netflix's feature presentation   

Having dominated the "little screen" with video streaming, Netflix is stepping onto the big screen with its own set of original movies.

The Internet-viewing television network announced the premiere dates for its first set of upcoming original movies on Tuesday.

Four feature-length films have been announced, with the first, "Beasts of No Nation," set to debut on October 16 this year, both in select U.S. theaters and on Netflix worldwide. The film is based on the experience of a child soldier fighting in a civil war in Africa and stars Golden Globe winner, Idris Elba.

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Then, on December 11, the first of four movies - to come to Netflix exclusively - from comedy actor, Adam Sandler, will become available on Netflix. The film, called "The Ridiculous Six," is described as a "comedic, western ensemble" and will showcase the acting skills of Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, Taylor Lautner and Sandler himself.

Initially expected to be released this summer, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend," is now set to debut in the first three months of 2016. It will premiere on Netflix globally; however, those living in China can catch it on the big screen in traditional and IMAX theaters.

The final film announced by Netflix was "Pee-wee's Big Holiday," set to debut on Netflix next March. The company describes the plot as "a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday."

Some cinema chains however, have complained about the plans to release movies simultaneously online and in theaters, leading to boycott threats.

Last fall, large cinema chains in the U.S. threatened to boycott "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend," telling Variety magazine that they would reject screening any "day-and-date releases" in IMAX theaters.

Similar complaints were made when Netflix announced it had bought the rights to "Beast of No Nation" back in March.

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Many of Netflix's original TV series have been smash hits and the same could prove true for its films. By putting a firm footprint in the movie industry, Netflix has the chance to boost membership numbers, which currently stands at over 62 million worldwide.

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, cemented this belief back when the new "Crouching Tiger" was announced last September.

The movie producer and executive said Netflix was at "the forefront" of a movie-going experience that was "evolving quickly and profoundly."

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