At the end of next summer, fans will finally get the highly anticipated follow up to Academy Award winning film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” but they’ll be able to see it from the comfort of their 3-6 inch cell phone screens.
Recently it was announced that The Weinstein Company, IMAX, and Netflix formed a pact to simultaneously release “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny” in theaters with IMAX screens available, and on Netflix.
The move is part of a new venture to experiment with digital distribution while still offering more traditional , but some movie theater companies are against it.
In fact, both Regal Cinemas and Cinemark have both stated that they will not screen the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel if it will debut on Netflix on the same day that it hits theaters.
“While a home video release may be simultaneously performing in certain IMAX locations, at Regal we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3-inch wide on a smartphone”, said Regal spokesperson Russ Nunley to Variety .
It’s not that surprising that two major cineplex companies would refuse to participate in the somewhat risky simultaneous release.
It has long been thought that TV and digital distribution were in competition with traditional theatrical releases.
In fact, it’s not too far fetched to believe that the adamant reaction on the part of Regal and Cinemark is due to the commonly held feeling that digital streaming services have resulted in the ever decreasing amount of people that still go to theaters to see all the latest films from Hollywood Studios.
But if the film won’t be viewable at Regal or Cinemark theaters, where can fans who prefer the three story tall IMAX screens expect to see “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny?” For now, IMAX is banking on the coveted Chinese Box Office as Netflix is not available in the country that will more than likely support the film due to it’s Chinese cultural subject matter.
As for the U.S.
release, perhaps the real reason The Weinstein Company wants to go straight to VOD is because Academy Award winning director Ang Lee will not be reprising his position in the sequel.
Instead, the film will be directed by martial arts choreographer Woo-ping Yuen.
Whatever the fate may be for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2” in terms of distribution, the film is still currently in production and is slated for release on August 28th, 2015.