Still, streaming platforms have shown they can distribute critically-acclaimed films. Amazon Studios acquired the distribution rights for "Manchester by the Sea" for $10 million, and the movie went on to take home the Academy Award for best actor and best original screenplay.
Netflix is increasing its efforts to become a premium movie distributor. Though it has dabbled in smaller films, Deadline reported last March that the company paid $90 million for science fiction film "Bright," which is directed by David Ayers and stars Will Smith. It also paid $60 million for Brad Pitt's war satire "War Machine," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Not all traditional cinephiles are embracing the trend. After Netflix submitted a film to Cannes for the first time this year, the festival changed its rules to require that films have a French theatrical release in order to be considered for awards. The move was seen as an affront to streaming services and the video-on-demand industry.
On Friday, Netflix's action-adventure film "Okja" was booed during its screening at Cannes, according to the New York Times, though it was unclear if the boos were related to technical difficulties or occurred as soon as Netflix's logo appeared as the Los Angeles Times reported. Another screening of the movie later that night got a four-minute standing ovation after the film, said The Hollywood Reporter.
A spokesperson for the company who was at the screening reiterated the boos were due to technical difficulties, pointing to a statement apologizing for the snafu from the Cannes Film Festival organizers:
Booed or not, the reports have people outside the Cannes Film Festival talking about the movie.
"This [booing] has more to do with French, non-art-related sensibilities than with the actual quality of the films," said Karsten Weide, program vice president of media and entertainment at IDC. "But, [it's] great PR for Netflix!"
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