In a recent interview with BNN Bloomberg, Cineplex chief executive officer Ellis Jacob has said that his company is willing to play Netflix original movies in its theatres provided the streaming service follows the same rules as its other partners.
Jacob said that Netflix needs to level the playing field on exclusivity. “It’s very important that they observe the same window between theatrical release and streaming, like our other partners,” he added.
“The big talk is about The Irishman,” Jacob said. “That ship has kind of sailed, but we continue to talk with Netflix about future product.” The Irishman is currently absent from Cineplex’s screens ahead of its Nov. 27 release for home streaming.
However, Jacob said he is not concerned about increased competition from the streaming world. He pointed out that his company’s online store allows Cineplex to join in the streaming wars in its own right:
“Our store – [where] we have over 8,500 movies – now becomes one of those choices. It’s basically not a subscription model, it’s a pay-as-you-play model. So it’s a little bit different,” he said.
“We’ve faced all of these challenges in the past,” he said. “When VCRs and all of the VHS (tapes), and then we went from one different [format] to the other, cable and things like that.”
“To me, streaming is just another delivery mechanism.”
Jacob noted that streaming is not the first medium to threaten the livelihood of the multiplex.
The Toronto International Film Festival recently signed a deal with Netflix, despite previous opposition from Cineplex, a major sponsor of the festival.