Netflix goes Hollywood with ‘Crouching Tiger’ deal

Coming next year to Netflix and possibly an Imax theater near you: the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” At. The. Same. Time.

That’s right, Netflix is changing the entertainment game again with its deal with The Weinstein Co. (TWC), which will produce the movie. It’s the first deal of its kind, and there’s more where that came from — the movie is “the first of several major films backed by Netflix” to be released in this way, Netflix said in a press release.

Los Gatos-based Netflix isn’t shy about delivering a wake-up call to Hollywood about what it says movie viewers want, with chief content officer Ted Sarandos telling the New York Times: “What I am hoping is that it will be a proof point that the sky doesn’t fall. These are two different experiences, like going to a football game and watching a football game on TV.”

Still, some theaters are bound to resist showing the “Crouching Tiger” sequel. Imax CEO Rich Gelfond said his company’s exhibitor partners will have a choice about whether to show the movie. “We are not going to war over this,” Gelfond said, according to Bloomberg. “We do not see this as a threat to the windowing model. We are still committed to the system for Hollywood blockbuster films.”

Netflix isn’t the only one pushing the envelope, whether on the small screen (original series, anyone?) or the silver screen. Variety points out that TWC has a deal with Yahoo in which the movie “One Chance” is premiering for free today on Yahoo streaming, 10 days before its scheduled release in theaters.


Photo: Zhang Ziyi in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” (Chan Kam Chuen/Sony Pictures)


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