Netflix is confident in its new A-list action thriller, judging by its distribution plan. While it will be available everywhere to subscribers starting on March 13, Triple Frontier is getting the theatrical treatment as well, bringing Netflix's original productions that more more legitimacy in the world of Hollywood.
Triple Frontier had its red carpet premiere in New York City on Sunday, March 3. It was well received, and warranted a sparse theatrical run in major cities. According to Fandango, it is currently showing at the IPic Theaters at Fulton Market in NYC, though tickets to the special screening cannot be purchased online. It is also showing at the IPic Theaters Westwood in Los Angeles, California, according to a listening on Eventful.
Other screenings are few and far between, and information on them is hard to come by online. Even relatively large cities like Nashville, Tennessee, and Boston, Massachusetts, do not seem to have screenings available. Landmark Theaters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for example, has several showings scheduled, though again, tickets are not available online.
In all likelihood, the sparse theatrical release is a part of Netflix's effort to gain attention in the award circuit. The streaming giant has had trouble getting its original films recognized by the Oscars, Golden Globes and other ceremonies, despite putting out some of the most talked-about movies in recent years.
Last year, Netflix began doing limited theatrical releases to legitimize its films for Academy consideration. Roma was screened in a select theaters last fall, and it won three Oscars last month. Netflix also paid to put Bird Box and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on a few big screens, but most people watched them at home.
The small batch of theater showings may qualify Netflix's movies for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but it has not fully legitimized the service in everyone's eyes. Earlier this year, there were reports that legendary director Steven Spielberg met with Academy officials to argue that Netflix movies should not qualify for awards, since they had a negative impact on theatrical features. Over the weekend, Jeffrey Katzenberg explained that that story was exaggerated.
“I talked to Steven about this yesterday. I asked him very specifically — I don’t have any skin in this game anymore — he said, ‘I absolutely did not say that’. He actually said nothing," Katzenberg revealed, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“What happened is a journalist was onto a story about this and had heard a rumor about Steven. They called a spokesperson to get a comment and honestly, just twisted it around. One, Steven didn’t say that, and two, he is not going to the academy in April with some sort of plan. But he has not opined at all, nor has he aligned with some specific thing.”
While some nostalgic viewers do lament the rise of streaming and the drop in theater attendance, a recent study by EY's Quantitative Economics and Statistics group showed that services like Netflix have not actually reduced ticket sales at theaters, according to Variety. It found that viewers typically take the same number of trips to the movies as they did before subscribing to Netflix, they simply consume more content overall now.
Triple Frontier is in select theaters this weekend. It will be released worldwide on Netflix on Wednesday, March 13.