Netflix sets release dates for Ridiculous Six, Beasts of No Nation, and more feature films

Beasts of No Nation
Netflix’s relatively recent foray into film distribution just got real. The company has set release dates for several original film projects including the Adam Sandler movie The Ridiculous Six, a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the war film Beasts of No Nation, and the long-tailed sequel to Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday.

Detailed by The Hollywood Reporter, Adam Sandler’s Ridiculous Six — which hosts a disparate list of Hollywood stars from Rob Schneider to Nick Nolte — is getting most of the attention. As the first of a four-picture deal Netflix signed with Sandler, the movie will drop December 11 of this year, marking a watershed moment for the streaming-service-turned-Hollywood-studio. The return of Pee Wee Herman — which is set to debut on Netflix in March 2016 with Judd Apatow, producing — is also a highly anticipated venture.

However, perhaps more intriguing (and controversial) is the confirmation of the other films on the list, including the war film starring Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation (Oct 16), and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, which was originally slated for an August 2015 release date, but is now set for release in IMAX theaters sometime in the first quarter of 2016. The hubub around these films stems from Netflix’s plans to break the theater industry’s hallowed release window by releasing both movies in theaters and in homes via the streaming service simultaneously.

The strategic faux pas of skipping over the standardized hold of several weeks between a theater release and availability in the home has caused an uproar from the major theater chains, prompting a boycott by IMAX owners for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and a similar boycott from the four biggest theater chains (Carmike, AMC, Regal, and Cinemark), of Beasts.

While both boycotts seem like fervent reactions from the red-hot theater industry, the boycotting of Beasts of No Nations, a small indie film set in war-torn Africa, seems particularly reactionary. The movie, which Netflix acquired for a reported $12 million, would likely get only a selective release in theaters, boycott or no, and was likely only targeted for theatrical release to make the art flick eligible for an Oscar run. In the aftermath, independent theater chain The Alamo Drafthouse has pledged to show the film, regardless of its streaming ties. The fate of the pushed-back Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel is still up in the air.

While Netflix competitor Amazon Instant Video has made its own plunge into movie distribution, the rival has avoided the ire of the majors by announcing plans to hold back the release of its acquisitions until they’ve had their fair go at it in theaters for up to 2 months.

However, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Netflix should be the troublemaker as it transitions into film distribution. The company’s massive popularity, stateside and abroad, has already done a number on the traditional pay-TV industry, forcing cable and satellite providers, as well as premium networks like HBO, to rethink how they release their content to consumers, and transition into the world of online streaming.

Now that the movies have gotten release dates (albeit a tentative one for the IMAX feature), we’ll soon see who will blink first — Netflix, or the powers that be in the multi-billion dollar theater industry. As for the other two films, they make one more reason for Netflix subscribers to doll out their monthly dues for more original content. We’ll be keeping tabs on this story as the films near their theatrical run, so stay with us.

Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Movies & TV

First ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ trailer offers a peek at life after ‘Infinity War’

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have released the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, set in the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.
Home Theater

Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users

If you are among a select group of Roku users, Sling TV has added free TV shows and the option to subscribe to individual channels without having to subscribe to the company's base level of channels.

Break out the Wii: ‘Just Dance’ movie reportedly in the works

Sony's Screen Gems has reportedly acquired the film rights to the Just Dance video game series from Ubisoft, which previously helped bring the game Assassin's Creed to the big screen in 2016.
Movies & TV

Apple’s first original feature film reunites Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola

The Lost in Translation team of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray will reunite with their A Very Murray Christmas collaborator Rashida Jones for On the Rocks, Apple and studio A24's first official feature together.
Movies & TV

You can get a screaming deal on LG OLED TVs just in time for the Super Bowl

LG is offering steep discounts on its critically acclaimed OLED TV models just in time for the Super Bowl, letting discerning viewers watch their favorite athletes with higher picture quality than ever.
Movies & TV

Jason Reitman’s ‘Ghostbusters’ sequel already has a creepy teaser trailer

Jason Reitman, son of Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, has secretly co-written a follow-up to the 1984 supernatural comedy. Filming begins this summer, but it's not clear if the original Ghostbusters will reprise their roles.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Movies & TV

Netflix recruits Steve Carell for the Trump-inspired comedy ‘Space Force’

Steve Carell, Netflix, and The Office showrunner Greg Daniels are teaming up for Space Force, a workplace comedy poking fun at the Trump White House's plans to establish a sixth branch of the U.S. military.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Movies & TV

New trailer for 'The Punisher' season 2 teases a bloody showdown

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.