Rian Johnson is weighing in amid debate surrounding the release strategy for his latest film, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
The director told Insider in an interview published online Friday that he is pushing for his Knives Out sequel to go back into theaters once the Netflix film begins streaming on the platform Dec. 23. The new Daniel Craig-starring movie was given a one-week limited theatrical run that began Nov. 23, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently admitted that the company left “lots” of money on the table by not giving it a wider release but that the focus remains on the streaming business.
“Any theaters we can get it into at any point, I’m pushing for,” Johnson told the outlet. “I want more people to have the opportunity to be able to watch it.”
Johnson explained that it’s still unclear whether theater chains will want to run the film over the holiday corridor after its Netflix debut. “Once it’s on the service, it will be available to theaters, and we’re exploring what form that can take,” he continued. “I’ll take as much as I can possibly get. But a lot of that has to do with what the theaters are willing to do, what makes sense.”
After the first Knives Out made nearly $313 million globally when Lionsgate released it in 2019, Netflix opted to book Glass Onion in fewer than 700 North American theaters for one week. Insiders connected to theater owners previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the sequel likely earned between $12.7 million and $13 million domestically over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday.
In his conversation with Insider, Johnson confirmed that reports of the film’s box office numbers were accurate, and he praised Netflix for giving the film the run that it got. However, Johnson also made it clear that he would want more time in theaters for the third Knives Out film, which Netflix is also set to handle.
“We were very interested in how it did,” the filmmaker said of Glass Onion’s box office. “We wanted it to do incredibly well for a lot of reasons. I guess for me because I really want to show that this can happen and this can be a huge success. And that when it hits the service, people will still turn up, and it will be huge on the service. That those two things can complement each other. Because I want more next time. I want more theaters. I want it for longer.”