Alex Garland’s next movie ‘Annihilation’ will be in cinemas only in the US/Canada/China?

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Den of Geek has just published a very curious and sad article on Alex Garland’s next movie release details ”Why Annihilation Going Straight To Netflix Matters”. It’s well worth reading…

”…it turns out that Alex Garland’s movie Annihilation won’t be found in cinemas in the UK. Garland’s adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s book instead is going straight to Netflix outside of the US, Canada and China, courtesy of a new deal Paramount Pictures has struck with the streaming giant.”

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”Sending movies like ”Annihilation” straight to VOD denies us the chance of seeing them as their makers wanted us to see them – in the dark, projected on a huge screen, our phones in our pockets and our attention fully invested.”

Premise… Alex Garland is The Boss. He directed ”Ex Machina” (I suppose no explanation is needed here or maybe you’ve finished on a wrong blog?), he wrote ”28 Days Later”, ”Dredd” (the good one, not the Stallonian one)…

dredd comparison

Did you know that ”stallone” in Italian means ”stallion”- an uncastrated adult male horse?

…”Sunshine” and ”Never Let Me Go” (which I liked less, but still it was a very original project). Garland also wrote the cult novel ”The Beach” which I haven’t read but plan to do so.

Now it was revealed that his next film won’t get a cinema release everywhere. I can read your mind now… ”WHAAAAT?”

But I know why people don’t want to see movies like ”Blade Runner 2049” or ”Annihilation” anymore. It’s a viscious circle, it’s a serpent biting its own tail. This is exactly what happens when people got addicted to shopping mindless blockbusters, endless sequels, soulless reboots and bright superheroes.

I’m quite disappointed. I must admit I rarely go to see something on the big screen as in my mind not so many new movies deserve it + I often have strange working schedules + I’d have to spend too much money on it, but that is not the point. I’ve always considered that seeing a movie in cinema is a special, magic experience. There so many shitty releases during the year, so many bad movies and they’re still released. But ”Annihilation”? Cannot believe it.

What do you think of all this? 

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”Annihilation” is based on Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy – the books ”Annihilation”, ”Authority” and ”Acceptance”. The film will be… ehm… ”released” on 23.02.2018.

14 thoughts on “Alex Garland’s next movie ‘Annihilation’ will be in cinemas only in the US/Canada/China?

  1. I think it’s a very bad development. People should be given the chance to see a movie the way it was intended: on the big screen. Sure, there are quite a few crappy movies that I don’t care for seeing in the cinemas, but can you imagine a movie like Star Wars not appearing in the theatres? It would really be a serious shame. I hope this trend doesn’t continue. I love going to the cinema, it’s one of the things that I really enjoy doing the most, and if that would ever disappear that would be a real shame 😢

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      • True enough, but still. I love movies, and I always think the best way to experience them is in theatres. Sure home cinema systems are getting better, but in the end nothing beats the big screen 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just checked that out: and he certainly has some valid points, especially the one about very obnoxious crowds that can’t keep their mouths shut. Be those are things that, at least for me, haven’t happened very often. Sure I love watching a film at home as much as anyone. But a movie on the big screen, with great sounds that make your seat shake, in short everything about that: it can’t be beaten by the home theatre. No matter how good a system you may have. And if you have a good crowd that is respectful of the movie and enjoys it, I don’t mind it all when people like that watch it along with me 😊

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      • It pretty much depends on the city, but I have one favorite cinema that is located in a city near my hometown. It has a very good screen, terrific sound, and the people that run it are very kind 😀 So that really is my favorite to go to cinema 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, that also pretty much depends on the movie being shown. This saturday with Star Wars I expect a full house, but with other films it ranges from about half filled to only 10-15 people 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I assume you’ve also heard news of Walt Disney Pictures strong-arming theatres — at least those Stateside — into questionable screening contracts, such that theatre chains make less money and are forced to show fewer types of movies for longer stretches of time?

    See: http://www.looper.com/93677/theaters-refusing-play-last-jedi/

    In light of this and similar developments, one of which you have highlighted above, I’m going to take an unorthodox position: Theatres and theatrical film experiences are dying, and I say *let them die.* This opinion is shared by one of my favorite film critics, Red Letter Media (See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgBWLAKxi-c … fast forward to 14:50).

    I have long, long been tired of the vast majority of theatres, from small town first-run theatres to urban multiplexes playing nothing but popcorn blockbusters. I like a good blockbuster, of course, but everything that’s not independently run college arthouse theatres plays the same God damned thing almost every weekend. Theatre-going, at least as I know it, has been oversaturated with homogenized content for some time, now.

    This is *before* taking into account how overrated I believe theatrical experiences are in general. Tickets and concessions are absurdly overpriced, while theatre patrons are often loud, obnoxious, and irritating. People don’t stop talking whether they’re families with irritating little kids, drunk college students, or some boring old fart who thinks he’s the newest, coolest film critic in town, and sees fit to verbally commentate an entire film (this has happened to me). Further considering how often people text, answer calls on their phone, and even take flash photos of the screen (yes, this happens), I don’t understand how theatrical viewings are deified as the ultimate cinematic experience for general audiences, let alone cinephiles.

    In short, I think most theatrical showings are terrible, and I would gladly pay more to stream or otherwise rent movies through my big screen home television system. If I had the option to stream the upcoming Last Jedi at home rather than pack myself into a crowded, noisy, theatre with other people, I would gladly do so — and this is coming from an extroverted Star Wars fan.

    I think the clause “seeing films as they’re ‘meant’ to be seen” is a loaded term to begin with, and one which holds little weight in today’s world. Let theatres die; they’re not worth saving.

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    • That is an interesting point of view and I must admit that some of the reasons you mentioned is why I don’t go to cinema as often as before.

      But many things depend on where you’re live… It is obvious that the US is one of the biggest markets, being both a producer and a consumer. In Italy or some other European countries where I went to see a movie on the big screen the cinema room is never full, normally it varies from 15-30% for independent or mid-budgeted movies and something like 50-75% for a blockbuster (Jurassic World). As I mostly skip watching blockbusters on the big screen… then it’s easy to understand now how quiet a cinema room can get here 😅😅😅
      So I guess it really depends. Moreover, it costs too much. With an average entry-level European salaries buying 2 tickets for 8 euro several times a week would often mean spending at least 10-20% of your income on going to cinema, depending on where you live.

      I also agree that watching a film in an overcrowded cinema room is a horrible experience… But there is space for other movies too.

      That’s why I made an example of a snake biting it’s own tail. The more the industry concentrates on blockbusters, the less everything else will work. But there is definitely space for it.

      Thanks for the link, I will have a look at it now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think we agree more than we disagree, overall. I’m all for preserving collegiate/arthouse theatres or specialty chains like Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas ( https://drafthouse.com/ ), which not only serve delicious food at reasonable prices, they are also impeccably clean and make a point to kick out rude patrons. Niche theatrical experiences for niche audiences have a definite window for survival, but as you pointed out with your apt snake-tail-consumption metaphor, the more one-note the cineplex business grows, the more it places all its financial eggs in one precarious basket.

        Are there any comparable theatre chains to Alamo Drafthouse in Italy or greater Europe?

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      • You’re definitely right! Well, as for Italy, certainly no. But the whole situation here is different. 20 years ago, 95% of cinemas here were cinemas with just 1 or 2 rooms. Half of them or more are dead now (it depends on the region), replaced by cineplex business. This change is still ongoing… But in local cineplex they often show some smaller flicks too. I recall watching Automata there.

        There are many places that have 3-4 screens. They’re not a chain and exist just in one city.

        The same happened in Baltic countries. Non-cineplex cinemas closed several years after cineplex business opened (the first cineplex was opened roughly in 2003-2005). And the are prospering. They open pretty early in the morning (11am), compared to Italy’s 15 pm. Anything else closed, as they are not capable of competing. I should note however that in Baltic countries (and the whole EX-USSR) it is very common to download the movies online for free. You can easily find almost anything in excellent quality.

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