Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Netflix's "Glass Onion" scores successful limited run in theaters

Nov 28, 2022
Kate Hudson, Daniel Craig, Janelle Monae and Edward Norton at the premiere of "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" in Madrid, on October 19, 2022.

Kate Hudson, Daniel Craig, Janelle Monáe and Edward Norton at the premiere of "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" in Madrid, on Oct. 19, 2022. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP via Getty Images

Netflix's box office success over the weekend could set the tone for more dealmaking with theaters.

Why it matters: Larger theatrical releases would be the latest in a series of radical reversals for the streaming darling as it tries to win back Wall Street.

Details: Netflix's "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" — Rian Johnson's sequel to his 2019 film — brought in about $13 million over the five-day holiday weekend, according to estimates.

  • That total averages to about $19,000 per theater, which beats the rest of the weekend's box office, per The Hollywood Reporter.
  • The film played in fewer than 700 theaters. That limited release undeniably left millions on the table. The Hollywood Reporter said box office analysts estimated the opening could have been $40 million to $50 million.
  • This theatrical run was the first time Netflix partnered with major U.S. theater chains: AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark. It'll be important to watch how these companies respond to the run and negotiate over future Netflix films.

Yes, but: Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has pushed against a larger plan for theatrical runs.

  • "There is no question internally that we make our movies for our members, and we really want them to watch on Netflix," he said on last month's earnings call. "Most people watch most movies at home."

💭 Kerry's thought bubble: I'm a frequent theatergoer, but I'm still debating whether to see this one. I'm not sure it needs a big-screen viewing, but the Netflix release date of Dec. 23 feels really far away.

Go deeper