Netflix Boss Explains Why Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Isn't Getting Longer Run in Movie Theaters

Rian Johnson's Knives Out sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was acquired by Netflix in early 2021. At the time, the streaming service was reportedly considering testing the film in a new model that would have seen Glass Onion get a 45-day theatrical release before streaming on Netflix. However, earlier this month Netflix announced that instead, Glass Onion will be getting a "sneak preview release" in theaters in late November (just in time for Thanksgiving) before viewers have to wait for December 23rd (Christmas) to stream it on Netflix. That's a new strategy that Netflix's executives had to explain on a recent investors call... 

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will play in 600 theaters across the country, running from November 23rd through November 29th. When asked why Netflix chose to go with that model when there were longer released windows rumored to have been considered, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos had the following explaination: 

"First I'll tell you: we're in the business of entertaining our members, with Netflix movies  on Netflix. So that's where we focus all of our energy and most of our spends." Sarandos said definitively. 

Our films are always heavily featured in film festivals around the world," he continued. Because they're in demand, made by the greatest filmmakers on the planet. For all those folks who can't get to a city where a festival is, this one-week release on 600 screens is a way of creating access to the film and building buzz – the same thing we're doing at festivals. So I would look at this as another way to build anticipation for the film and build buzz and reputation for the film, ahead of its Netflix release. 

Sarandos ends by hint that there were indeed internal discussions (debates?) about how Netflix should releases Glass Onion. However, Sarandos presents the unified front of saying the ultimate goal is – as always – getting viewers to watch movies on Netflix, and a one week release will not threaten that – only boost chances. 

It's actually a pretty shrewd strategy, when framed against the festival circuit strategies that most studios use to promote films. We'll soon see if it works... 

Glass Onion stars Daniel Craig, reprising his role of Benoit Blanc, and he's joined by a star-studded cast that includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista.

MORE: Glass Onion First Reactions Revealed

Glass Onion will be in limited theaters on November 23rd and Netflix on December 23rd.