Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery–Making Event Movie

Theater Chains to Carry Sequel for a Week Over Thanksgiving

AMC, Regal and Cinemark theaters have all agreed to play Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in what’s being billed a special one-week sneak preview before the picture hits the streaming service a month later.

 

The Rian Johnson-directed sequel will open in approximately 600 cinemas. In addition to AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatres and Regal Cinemas, the film will play in additional select locations in the U.S. and overseas.

The movie’s theatrical run is scheduled for Nov. 23-29 and is part of a campaign to further make it an event film.

Added Johnson: “I’m over the moon that Netflix has worked with AMC, Regal and Cinemark to get Glass Onion in theaters for this one of a kind sneak preview.” (It’s been an open secret for months that the director wanted a high-profile theatrical component.)

While Cinemark carried certain Netflix titles during the pandemic, most major cinema circuits have historically refused to book a streaming title that is appearing so quickly in the home. Another major issue is marketing. While Hollywood studios are used to spending tens of millions on a theatrical campaign, Netflix is not.

Marketing has become just as much of stumbling block as theatrical windows (in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, windows have collapsed across the industry). Rival distribution executives say they’ve been told by exhibitors that Netflix is committing to a notable spend, although it would cost less to market a title opening on 600 screens, versus a traditional opening on 3,000 or more screens.

AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron said the deal for Knives Out 2 is win-win for all involved, since cinemas need product.

“This announcement of our first-ever agreement with Netflix is significant for AMC and for movie lovers around the world. As we have often said, we believe that both theatrical exhibitors and streamers can continue to coexist successfully,” Aron said. “Beyond that, though, it has been our desire that we find a way to crack the code and synergistically work together.”

Knives Out 2 once again stars Daniel Craig as sleuth Benoit Blanc. This time he is joined by stars Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 10.

International markets where the film will play in theaters include Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. Aaron said that Johnson’s sequel will play in 200 AMC locations in the U.S., as well as in many of the company’s Odeon locations in Europe.

The first Knives Out, released by Lionsgate in 2019, was a box office sensation, earning $311.6 million at the global box office. Netflix acquired the rights to two sequels in a $469 million megadeal announced in March 2021. From the perspective of Netflix, a one-week sneak preview doesn’t take away from its primary concern: keeping subscribers satiated.

“We look forward to Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and we will endeavor to continue working with Netflix on future compelling titles that excite and engage theatrical audiences,” Aron said.

 

Films opening nationwide on Nov. 23 include Disney’s animated feature Strange World, Steven Spielberg’s The Fablemans, UAR’s Bones and All and Sony’s Devotion. Those will play in far more theaters, and even upwards of 3,000. And don’t rule out Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which should remain a powerhouse over the holiday after first hitting the big screen Nov. 11.