Streaming giant, Netflix, opened the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) with original movie Outlaw King. This is the first time any film festival has opened with a film that was not released in cinemas.
Outlaw King tells the story of Robert the Bruce, the man who led Scotland in their war against England. The film was directed by David McKenzie and stars Chris Pine, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Netflix plans to extend the viewership and exposure of the films by taking over some major film festivals and awards shows. Netflix has seen great success with their series’ during awards seasons. Shows like Riverdale, Orange is the New Black, and The Crown have all won big since coming out. But original films from the streaming platform are yet to see the same success.
By Netflix opening the TIFF with their newest film, it’s hoped that other film festivals may follow suit. Last year, the Cannes Film Festival barred Netflix from the competition as films that were not screened in cinemas were not allowed to be screened during the festival. This is despite movie-going numbers steadily dropping in the US since 2000.
Given the success of recent Netflix Originals like To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before and To The Bone, it’s reasonable to say that Netflix may have a monopoly over the big screen sooner than we think.