Netflix has made some of the most critically-acclaimed TV series ever, such as 'House of Cards' and 'Breaking Bad'. But now the streaming service is making a landmark move into feature films.
The streaming service has announced it is working on a sequel to 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', which will produced by the Weinstein Company.
Entitled 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend', it will be released simultaneously on Netflix and at certain Imax cinemas on August 28th next year. No other cinemas will show it.
The foray into martial arts movies is only the first of several films Netflix is backing, as part of what looks very much like an all-out attack on the traditional model of films being shown first in cinemas, and then being made available later in other formats.
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, said he hoped this would make Hollywood do away with its 'theatres-first' approach.
"What I am hoping is that it will be a proof point that the sky doesn't fall," he told The New York Times. "These are two different experiences, like going to a football game and watching a football game on TV."
Unsurprisingly, some cinema chains in the US aren't too keen on the move, and have vowed never to show films that follow this model (known as 'day and date' in the industry).
"We believe the in-theatre experience is the best forum to experience a movie," Mike Langdon, Cineplex Entertainment's director of communications, told CBC News.
"As such, we will not play any movie 'day and date' in our theatres with any other windows."
This echoed Regal Cinemas' sentiments.
"We will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three storeys tall to three inches wide on a smartphone," Regal spokesperson Russ Nunley told Variety.
"We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear."
Netflix is widely credited with facilitating the 'binge watching' phenom by releasing entire TV series at once.