Streaming movies are an important segment of the movie business and will soon make the same inroads at the Oscars that cable did at the Emmys over the past quarter century. In 1988, an Emmy rule change expanded the eligibility beyond broadcasters to include cable shows and movies for award consideration. In 2003, the same rule was further amended to expand eligibility to the internet. Thus, making streaming shows and movies Emmy award eligible in a digital age. In 2016, in contrast the Oscars tightened its requirements for qualifying award eligibility. Still, with as few as twenty-one theatrical showings in Los Angeles streaming service movies are eligible for the Oscars. The reality is a streaming movie could theoretically win both the Oscar and the Emmy for Best Movie.
Bright (2017), a $90 million budgeted Action-Crime-Fantasy movie from Netflix premiered in December 2017. By virtue of its streaming platform release and an iPic theater release, it holds dual eligibility for both the 2018 Oscars and 2018 Emmy awards. While, it didn't receive any Oscar nominations, it was short listed during the nomination process in a few categories. The nominations for the 70th Emmy Awards have yet to be announced. While, Bright will likely not win either Best Picture award it does send a message. Netflix's willingness to make bold projects, partner with talented filmmakers and deep pockets signals that a movie that will win both Best Pictures is not that far off in the future.
Do you think that streaming service movies should be eligible to compete for Emmys only, Oscars only, both Oscars and Emmys or neither Oscars nor Emmys or have their own special category?
Voice your opinion on streaming titles and which awards they should be eligible for here: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls021214803/
"In an interview with ITV News (see video below), Spielberg noted that the movie business has never faced more of a challenge from television, especially given the rise of streaming. While there are benefits from that to the overall culture, he said features launched on streaming platforms should not be allowed at the Oscars."
UPDATE: I gave up on detailed explanation of the issue, assuming most movie fans would be familiar with the basics of the controversy. I opted for brevity with a introduction hitting the highlights to become a four option Friday Face-Off:
NEW INTRODUCTION (ADDED)
The advent of streaming service and their significant foray into the movie production business has blurred the definition of what in the past was referred to as a "feature film". These movies and their associated award ceremonies over the past century were the domain of the theatrical release. As with any dramatic and industry shaking change, winners and losers abound, as well as, innovation and conflict. One main bone of contention is how steaming movies factor into considered for the major awards.
OLD INTRODUCTION (REMOVED)
Streaming services and theater owners are at war. Movie theater trade head, NATO's John Fithian claims Netflix is imperiling the time-tested movie going experience. Netflix’s Content Chief, Ted Sarandos states theaters are potentially killing the movie business by being inflexible. A showdown between the two over the Oscars has been brewing for years.
Streaming services are making inroads at the Oscars, much like cable did at the Emmys. In 1988, a rule change forever changed the Emmy Awards by expanding award eligibility beyond broadcasters to include cable shows and movies. In 2003, eligibility was further expanded to enable streaming series and movies to become Emmy award eligible. Netflix further pushed the boundaries by embarking on a day-and-date release strategy that puts select movies online and in the theaters on the same day. In response, the Oscars elevated its qualifying requirements for award eligibility. However, streaming movies are eligible to win both the Oscar and the Emmy for Best Movie and other awards, if they meet both requirements.
Bright (2017) and Mudbound (2017) are the best examples of this strategy. Bright didn't receive any Oscar nominations for its efforts, but was nomination short listed in a few categories. However, Mudbound became the most nominated streaming service movie ever with four Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Original Song. Both films gained dual eligibility for the 2018 Oscars and 2018 Emmy awards by virtue of a Netflix streaming platform release and an iPic theater release. The nominations for the 70th Emmy Awards have yet to be announced.
A streaming movie title winning both awards in the near future is a clear possibility. Last year, Amazon's Manchester by the Sea (2016) was the first-ever Best Picture nominee to be released by a digital streaming service studio. Netflix's penchant for releasing bold projects, partnering with talented filmmakers, sheer volume of releases and deep pockets seems to make a double win a virtual certainty.
Roma (2018) has a serious chance to be the first Best Picture Winner that is a streaming release. (Manchester by the Sea (2016) was the first to be nominated two years ago. According to Oscars Best Picture | Awards | Oddschecker Roma is the favorite at 4/5 odds and has a reported domestic box office of $0 and worldwide box office of $286,560 according to Box Office Mojo (actual numbers are higher as smaller independent theaters and the small Ipic Entertainment theater chain did show Roma).
With Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, the Netflix vs. Theater Debate Continues ...."2018 marks the first year that Netflix and movie theaters (at least some of them) are cooperating on any sort of meaningful scale; in the past, many theaters have refused to show Netflix- or Amazon-produced films while they were also available to stream, out of fear that moviegoers would, you know, just stay home. Meanwhile, Netflix didn't seem terribly inclined to share its movies with theaters, because, hey, they've already got a more effective distribution service than any theater chain could offer. But in light of a few new Netflix films with Oscar potential—Roma and the Coen brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs—and with a newfound willingness to humor filmmakers who want their films shown theatrically, Netflix is starting to push a few movies into a few theaters, sometimes before they're available to stream, and some theaters are now willing to show Netflix movies, even if they're already available to stream."
AMC and Regal Ban ‘Roma’ From Playing During Oscar Best Picture Showcase Screenings Deadline reports AMC and Regal are barring “Roma” from their Best Picture showcases because it is a Netflix release. In a statement commenting on the decision, AMC said, “For more than a decade, movie-lovers have enjoyed the AMC Best Picture Showcase to catch up on the nominated films that played at AMC throughout the prior year. This year, Academy members nominated a film that was never licensed to AMC to play in our theaters. As such, it is not included in the AMC Best Picture Showcase.” (AMC fails to note it was by their choice it was "never licensed to AMC)
Oscar-bias toward streaming films
"Green Book might have Netflix to thank for its Best Picture win.
The film scored an upset victory at Sunday's Academy Awards over Roma, which had all of the momentum behind it. Critics widely predicted a win for Roma, which would have been the first film released by a streaming service to ever score Best Picture. Netflix executives spent heavily on a campaign to get the film over the top after years of eyeing the prize.
But many wondered if the fact that Roma was released by Netflix would actually set it back. After all, the streaming platform's policy of premiering movies online at the same time as, or within weeks of, an extremely limited theatrical debut riled up many old-school Hollywood insiders.
Indeed, it seems likely that Netflix misgivings held Roma back, with Variety's Ramin Setoodeh on Sunday saying, "Many Oscar voters that I talked to truly loved it, but also a bloc voted against it because they didn't want a Netflix movie to land Best Picture." This could explain Green Book's surprise victory. There was no real frontrunner for Best Picture outside of Roma, allowing an easygoing, traditional studio drama to squeak in.
Then again, it's not as if Roma was an obvious winner outside of the Netflix factor; no foreign-language film has ever taken Best Picture. And the film didn't walk away from the Oscars empty-handed, winning three awards including Best Foreign Language Film."
"Film legend Steven Spielberg will reportedly propose Academy rule changes to prevent Netflix films from competing at the Oscars.
Steven Spielberg has some concerns about streaming giant Netflix pouring its considerable resources into Oscar campaigns for its films. And as fate would have it, Steven Spielberg also happens to be the Academy Governor of the Oscars' directors branch, so this isn't just idle chatter from a director more familiar with traditional movie release patterns. This could change Oscar policy.Film legend Steven Spielberg will reportedly propose Academy rule changes to prevent Netflix films from competing at the Oscars.
Steven Spielberg has some concerns about streaming giant Netflix pouring its considerable resources into Oscar campaigns for its films. And as fate would have it, Steven Spielberg also happens to be the Academy Governor of the Oscars' directors branch, so this isn't just idle chatter from a director more familiar with traditional movie release patterns. This could change Oscar policy."
Industry Debates Theatrical Distribution vs. Netflix Amid Academy Rule Change Speculation
Reports that Steven Spielberg will be proposing a rule change at the next Academy meeting that will make it more difficult for Netflix films to compete at the Oscars has sparked debate online among the film community, with several arguing in favor of Netflix or pointing out that the situation is more complicated than theatrical release versus streaming.
Sean Baker, “Tangerine” and “The Florida Project” director, suggested that Netflix add a “theatrical tier” to its pricing plans.
“This would help keep theater owners and audience members who appreciate the theatrical experience satisfied,” he wrote on Twitter. “Just an idea with no details ironed out. But we need to find solutions like this in which everybody bends a bit in order to keep the film community...alive and kicking.”
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Streaming Movies: Either Emmy Only Eligibility or Oscar Only Eligibility
If Streaming movies meet the requirements, they are able to compete with broadcast and cable titles at the Emmys or with theatrical titles at the Oscars. If streaming movies meet both award requirements, the movie's distributor may choose to submit for one or the other, but not both awards.
Either Emmy Only Eligibility or Oscar Only Eligibility.
"[The Academy] board of governors decided to keep the current requirements, which state that a feature-length film must run for one-week in an L.A. County theater to qualify for best picture."
If the studio chooses this route? They should not be allowed Emmy consideration.
It's only one of the changes that will take place under new Academy president David Rubin.
David Rubin’s not interested in Spielberg vs. Netflix.
"As the Academy keeps adding committees to help redefine what motion pictures are in an increasingly streaming world, Rubin is on a mission to bring all the players to some kind of understanding. “We must be responsive to the ways film is distributed and viewed,” he said. “The conversation is just beginning. It would be a rushed decision if we made changes based on what we know right now.”
That’s why he’s booking meetings. “I want to sit down with all parties involved in making and releasing movies to see what the landscape is. How do we bring all the parties together? We are all keen to participate — we should lead the conversation. We are interested in gathering all the major players involved in the decisions. If we can find an even playing field, we can all recognize and include everybody. There’s an answer there. We need to be methodical and thorough in pursuing it. The distribution models are changing and we want to be responsive to that without compromising our mission, which is to represent excellence in films.”
He’s making those meetings happen before the end of the year, he said. 'Let’s see where it all goes in this ongoing dialogue,' he said. 'I’m looking forward to it. We won’t take a side until we understand both sides. I’m looking forward to the conversation, approaching things with an open mind.' "
Comment: Sounds likes a reasonable approach and less about drawing a line in the sand with some possible middle ground outcome. It seems to be more about positioning the Oscars for the future.
One compromise could be an award structure that awards all types of movies in a "best in class"/best in show" award set-up. Possible class categories could include: Best Broadcast Movie, Best Cable Movie, Best Theatrical Movie, Best Media Streaming Movie, Best Major Studio Movie, Best Indie Movie, Best Best Foreign Language Movie, Best Animation. A Best Overall Movie award would be inclusive of all classes and would be the ultimate award. Such a structure would put like movie together in competition with each other, while expanding the range of recognition and still recognizing the best overall movie of the year.
While some streaming movies like 'The Two Popes' (Netflix), 'Dolemite Is My Name' (Netflix), and 'The Report' (Amazon) were considered strong contenders for the Best Picture Oscar. Several other streaming movies, like 'The King' (Netflix) and 'The Laundromat' (Netflix) were more remote possibilities for the Best Picture Oscar, falling into the long shot category.