On Friday, Netflix dipped its toes into original cinematic productions with the premiere of Beasts of No Nation. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga's critically-acclaimed drama tells the story of a young African boy who ends up as a child soldier. It is Netflix's first original cinematic release, premiering in select theaters and on the streaming platform on day-and-date, and it might herald yet another major shift for the moviegoing experience.
The Daily Beast's Nick Schager writes, "The reasoning behind this strategy is simple: In an on-demand landscape increasingly cluttered with competitors (Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, etc.), Netflix believes that original content will be the key differentiator. While developing proprietary TV shows like House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp factors into that plan, a film like Beasts goes a giant step further, since Netflix views it as a potential player come Oscar night. If true, that would put Netflix on a pedestal high above its rivals, and transform the service into perhaps the premier one-stop-shopping entertainment destination."