Idris Elba
Idris Elba

Beasts of No Nation, the Netflix acquired war drama starring Idris Elba will receive a same day release through the streaming service as its limited theatrical release on October 16, 2015.

Based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala, the story is told through the eyes of Agu, a boy who is forced to become a child soldier during the civil war of a West African country.  Elba plays Commandant, the leader of the battalion.  There’s a lot of smoke surrounding Beasts of No Nation. The subject matter is poignant and Elba’s a legit star spearheading the charge.  What many people are paying close attention to are the future ripple effects this movie can inspire if it catches fire.

Earlier this year, Netflix acquired the worldwide distribution rights for Beasts of No Nation for $12 million.  At the time, many suspected something was afoot and with this announcement. The other shoe has finally dropped.  Netflix believes this movie will be an award season contender and are planning to push it as such.  The obstruction on the golden paved roadway to the Oscars, however, is the 90-day exclusivity window negotiated between movie studios and exhibitors.

Netflix’s release strategy violates this agreement.  According to Variety, the country’s top four major movie theaters—  Regal, AMC, Carmike, and Cinemark— have banded together to boycott the film.  Smaller, independent chains have agreed to show the film on October 16, making the film eligible for award season considerations.  Beasts of No Nation can very well be the movie that shatters the window beyond repair.

Though Netflix doesn’t release their data to the public, the executives had to look over the numbers and see that Elba is the ideal star to pull off this calculated risk.  In addition to his turn as Stringer Bell on the acclaimed HBO drama, The Wire, Elba has displayed his acting chops playing the titular detective on Luther, one of the most popular shows on Netflix.

Netflix is expanding across the globe in aggressive fashion, allowing for a greater audience to see the film, which could have been hampered by a traditional release.  Beasts of No Nation’s storyline is also tailored toward a global audience—there are many parts of the world where this topic hits too close to home.

Netflix is rewriting the rulebook, and if Beasts of No Nation catches fire, this will be a historic film.

Beasts of no nationEntertainmentIdris elbaNetflixTv

Leave a comment