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Knives Out 2 to Play in Theaters for One Week, But It’ll Be a Month Before It Hits Netflix

Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out sequel Glass Onion is set to debut exclusively in theaters during the week of Thanksgiving (when the first film opened to $41 million), but rather than premiere on Netflix right after that, it won’t hit the streaming service for another month, further enticing audiences to see it in theaters for the brief window that they can.

The film is expected to play for one week in 600 theaters in the U.S. and Canada — from Nov. 23-29. Netflix is apparently billing it as a Sneak Preview, and as such, is not expected to release any box office numbers (though I’m sure rival distributors will leak them).

Now, normally, after a streaming movie wraps its theatrical run, it quickly debuts on a streamer… but that’s not what’s happening here. In this case, there will be a blackout period, as Glass Onion won’t arrive on Netflix until Dec. 23, as previously announced. I’m a little surprised that Netflix didn’t want to give this film a longer theatrical run, but I understand that the whole point of paying $469 million for this franchise was to lure subscribers to the service.

By limiting its time in theaters and then maintaining a blackout period, it should increase demand that week, but not to the point where it negates the entire point of the purchase. If the movie hit Netflix on Nov. 30, a lot of people would probably skip the theatrical engagement and just wait a few days and watch it at home without any upcharge. Either way, this deal is a sign of respect toward Johnson from both Netflix and theater owners.

Glass Onion marks the first time that all three of America’s major theater chains (AMC, Regal, and Cinemark) have agreed to screen a Netflix movie… possibly because the first film grossed more than $300 million worldwide, so maybe AMC felt they Johnson was owed a week, especially given this year’s weakened theatrical slate.

AMC is the chain that has been most resistant to playing Netflix movies, though we always knew that the Knives Out sequel would get some kind of theatrical release in select markets in order to qualify for the Oscars. The film will also be released in theaters in additional markets overseas, such as the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand.

Glass Onion was generally well-received at TIFF (though not by this critic), and it’ll open against Disney’s animated movie Strange World, Sony’s war movie Devotion, Universal’s coming-of-age movie The Fabelmans from director Steven Spielberg, and MGM/UAR’s Luca Guadagnino movie Bones and All starring Timothee Chalamet.

Daniel Craig reprises his role as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion, and for this murder mystery, he’s joined by suspects Janelle Monáe, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Edward Norton and Leslie Odom Jr… among others.

“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!” Johnson said in a statement.

“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,” added Scott Stuber, Head of Global Film at Netflix.

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