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Why Netflix Doesn't Mind If They Lost Money On Glass Onion's Theatrical Rollout

"Glass Onion," the upcoming highly anticipated sequel to "Knives Out," has had something of an unusual theatrical release strategy, especially for a film released by Netflix. It was given a limited one-week release during the Thanksgiving holiday (per Deadline), where it became Netflix's most successful theatrical release yet. However, this led to questions of why it wasn't given a more traditional theatrical release, especially since "Knives Out" became such a surprise hit at the box office, grossing over $300 million worldwide (per Box Office Mojo).

To make matters even more confusing, there's been rumors that Netflix is also considering a re-release of "Glass Onion" into theaters sometime after its streaming debut on the platform on December 23 (per Variety), a move that will likely result in far less box office profits than the film could have made with a more standard theatrical run. However, Netflix has recently come out with a statement saying that they don't mind if they lost potential money in their "Glass Onion" rollout, and it boils down to theatrical releases not being a priority for them.

Netflix's Reed Hastings says the company is more concerned with streaming

During a recent event (per Variety), Netflix's co-CEO Reed Hastings talked about the future of Netflix and its commitment to offering an ad-supported tier for the streamer, and when it came down to it, he was interested in only two things when it comes to the company. "I have two religions: customer satisfaction and operating income," Hastings said. "Everything else is a tactic." This line of thinking actually puts their release strategy for "Glass Onion" into perspective because worrying about box office revenue is something that the company was likely never going to be worried about.

In fact, Hastings says as much during this particular event. He called the limited theatrical release of "Glass Onion" nothing more than a tactic to increase promotion of the film and hopefully bring in more subscribers for Netflix. "We are not trying to build a theatrical business," he said. "We are trying to break through the noise." He then admitted that they absolutely could have stood to make more money from Rian Johnson's sequel, but at the end of the day, that doesn't seem to be their priority.

Netflix has certainly built up a lot of hype around "Glass Onion," and now fans who weren't able to see the film during its limited theatrical run will have to wait until December 23 to experience the whodunit for themselves. This gives Netflix plenty of time to build up more anticipation and bring in the subscribers. So while they might not have made as much cash from the box office as they could have, this release method could still end up paying off for them big time in the form of subscription numbers.