New York (CNN Business)Netflix (NFLX)’s rollout plans for “The Irishman” is likely designed to please its subscribers, but it could also rankle theater owners who rely on bankable movies for foot traffic.
The Oscar hopeful reunites director Martin Scorsese with some of his favorite leading men, Oscar-winners Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Rounding out the cast is another Oscar-winner, Al Pacino. Theaters could stand to make a lot of money with an all-star cast like that. But it won’t stay in theaters exclusively for very long. Netflix announced on Tuesday that “The Irishman” will hit independent theaters on November 1 and it will debut on Netflix on November 27. Netflix did not say how many theaters would play the film.Feature films typically adhere to a 90-day theatrical release before they are available to rent or stream. But Netflix has gotten in the habit of flouting this rule, much to the dismay of theaters owners and the movie industry. Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” premiered in theaters exclusively for three weeks last year before debuting on the streaming service. “Roma” continued its run in theaters even after it was available for streaming. Most of Netflix’s films never appear in theaters at all.”Roma” went on to win three Academy Awards including Best Director for Cuarón, but some industry observers speculated that it lost Best Picture due to blowback from Oscar voters over Netflix’s decision to disregard the rules. Read MoreNetflix and theater owners have been at odds for years as both sides try to find a middle ground on how to cater to consumers’ changing viewing habits. 'The Irishman' trailer teases gangster epic with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci Netflix wants to keep its more than 150 million subscribers satisfied with exclusive original content. But Netflix’s tactic poses a threat to the business model of movie theaters, which make their money from the box office and concession sales.Scorsese had been pushing for “a robust national theatrical release” for “The Irishman,” according to the New York Times, and De Niro told CNN in April that he believes that the movie-going experience is still important.This debate will likely get more complicated as traditional media companies like Disney (DIS) and WarnerMedia release their own streaming services in coming months.”The Irishman,” which tells a story of a mobster played by De Niro who recounts his involvement in the disappearance of union leader Jimmy Hoffa, will have its world premiere at the New York Film Festival on September 27.