‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ To Hit Theaters At Thanksgiving Via AMC, Regal & Cinemark In Rare Deal With Netflix


Refresh for more details, updated with quotes from AMC CEO Adam Aron & Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger: This is a big deal: For the first time, all three big exhibitors are on board with releasing a major Netflix title, that being the Rian Johnson directed sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, the franchise that the streamer snapped up for a near $400M as Deadline first told you.

Here’s the thing: It’s not a wide release, rather a 600 theater booking in U.S. and Canada with additional markets overseas. It’s being billed by Netflix as a sneak preview run. Here are some of the terms: Knives Out 2 will play for one week, from Nov. 23-29, and then there will be a blackout period for the film in the remaining weeks before it hits Netflix on Dec. 23. Essentially a 30-day window, even though the theaters don’t have it for 30 days. Note, that with other Netflix theatrical releases, independent theaters have held their titles in subsequent weeks even though a title will go onto the service. We hear that Netflix will not be reporting box office figures for Glass Onion.

This is a monumental peace treaty between exhibition and Netflix. Cinemark has been a partner playing Netflix movies since theaters came back during the pandemic, however, going back to the rocky talks of the Martin Scorsese Netflix movie, The Irishman, it hasn’t always been a smooth road between the streamer, AMC and Cineworld. Netflix gets a notable theatrical launch in big cinemas for Glass Onion after the film received a huge response after its TIFF premiere with 90% on Rotten Tomatoes (the pic is already being buzzed for Oscars), and exhibition gets more movies during the Thanksgiving holiday week, which is a big time for moviegoing, especially on Black Friday. Lionsgate originally had the first Knives Out over Thanksgiving 2019 where it posted a 5-day opening of $41.4M and legged out to a $165.3M domestic gross.

Opening on Nov. 23, the Thanksgiving frame, is Disney Animation’s Strange World, Sony’s Jonathan Majors movie Devotion, Amblin/Universal’s The Fabelmans and MGM’s United Artists Releasing title Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All.

This deal went to down to the wire, we understand and has been in the works since the summer; Cineworld Boss Mooky Greidinger being a key driver. Coming away from the successful reception of the sequel at TIFF, we heard whispers that the movie was getting a wide theatrical release through a third party studio. Those rumors were promptly denied.

We are hearing there will be a committed theatrical marketing spend on behalf of Netflix, bigger than what they’ve done for their other theatrical films.

Said filmmaker Rian Johnson: “I’m over the moon that Netflix has worked with AMC, Regal and Cinemark to get Glass Onion in theaters for this one of a kind sneak preview. These movies are made to thrill audiences, and I can’t wait to feel the energy of the crowd as they experience Glass Onion. Between this and the release on Netflix in December, I’m excited that audiences around the world will be able to enjoy the film!” 

Said Scott Stuber, Head of Global Film at Netflix: “We’re excited to offer fans an exclusive sneak preview of Rian’s incredible film. Given the excitement surrounding the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, we hope fans will enjoy this special theatrical event in celebration of the film’s global debut on Netflix in December.”

Glass Onion will play offshore in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery sees Daniel Craig return as suave southern sleuth Benoit Blanc as he peels back the layers on a new mystery surrounded by a colorful coterie of suspects played by a star-studded cast that includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline with Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista. Johnson also wrote and produced alongside his partner Ram Bergman under their T-Street banner.


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