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Netflix-Lucky Red: A Marriage of Convenience

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Below is an excerpt from the interview with Andrea Occhipinti, CEO of Lucky Red, posted at office box February 15-28 (Issue 3-4). To read the full text, download the digital version of the Box Office app at google apps And App Storeor Subscribe directly to the print edition of the magazine.

From the start, the marriage between Netflix and Lucky Red caused quite a few controversies within the Italian film market. In fact, those distribution strategies that, depending on the movie in question, provide simultaneous releases between cinema and streaming platform, or theatrical exclusives that were radically cut short prior to release on Netflix, were not welcomed by many. Not to mention the dictates of the platform that has always required that the box office records of its films in theaters not be wired to Cinetel (the official body responsible for collecting and communicating revenue data from cinemas nationally). Meanwhile, in recent years, several Netflix titles have been released on the big screen: from on my skin With Alessandro Borghi Rome By Alfonso Cuaron, from Irish by Martin Scorsese recently It was God’s hand by Paolo Sorrentino E do not search With Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill. So we decided to break all the delay and give Andrea Occhipinti, President of Lucky Red, the opportunity to talk in detail about his involvement with Netflix.

It was the hand of God (© Gianni Fiorito/ courtesy of Netflix)

It’s been more than 3 years since the movie on my skin It was shown at the Venice Film Festival amidst thousands of controversies. What prompted you to sign this distribution partnership with Netflix?
In July 2018, STX asked us to release the movie Rome By Alfonso Cuaron on behalf of Netflix, This was a dream come true. There was a knot in that deal, which we knew could create conflict: a two-week window and no earnings announced. However, we decided to start a collaboration to distribute Netflix titles in the room. When Cuarón’s masterpiece won the Venice Film Festival, we spoke with Cineteca di Bologna and found an agreement for commercial distribution for the film (released in theaters December 3, 2018) and a host of titles that would also include Irish by Martin Scorsese. Then came the closure. In the reopening, this time distributed directly by Lucky Red, we featured a series of titles such as mankAnd American epitaphAnd Chicago trial 7 And midnight sky. In agreement with Netflix and FilmNation, we have made it available to all cinemas that have requested it. Then came more important titles like It was God’s hand by Paolo Sorrentino E do not search. Our mission has always been to bring the big cinema to the big screen. At any cost, the opposite was considered a crime.

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Do you have a multi-year deal with Netflix or are you considering movie after movie?
Netflix gives us the list of titles that could have a theatrical release. Together we evaluate the potential of these films and make the best decisions to enhance their exploitation in cinemas. Lucky Red invests economically and prepares the advertising campaign based on the creativity that is provided to us.

Don’t Look (© Bluegrass Films / Hyperobject Industries)

He is satisfied with the box office results of It was God’s hand by Paolo Sorrentino?
very. Especially if we consider that some departments, which represent more than 40% of the market, decided not to program the film, and that due to a joint distribution strategy with FilmNation, we have released a maximum of 250 copies, with an exclusive theatrical window of three weeks. Given these assumptions, the film’s score was above expectations.

Is it true that several models did not receive the film despite previous agreements that stipulated its programs?
There are no agreements that we did not honor on our part. Orders were much higher, a lot in the week prior to release. Already in September, in Venice, we announced the release date of November 24, and therefore the possibility of exhibitors opening pre-shows from November 11, or two weeks before the release of the film. Do you know how many cinemas have been confirmed through November 11th? less than 100.

How do you judge the fact that Netflix does not pass on revenue data to Cinetel for its movies in theaters?
It is the sharing rule for their films that come out in theaters. This happens all over the world without exception. Either you accept it or you reject it. Everyone would like to know what the movie is about, but I think it is undoubtedly important to see the movie in theaters.

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Don’t you think this lack of transparency is detrimental to the Italian film market?
It should be clarified that from a financial and economic point of view … “

To read the full text, download the Box Office app at google apps And App Storeor Subscribe directly to the print edition of the magazine.

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