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Fox hopes you'll binge-watch at theaters like you do on Netflix

But are back-to-back movie sequels really going to make you leave home?
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
07.18.17 in AV
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Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Let's say you run a movie studio and notice that people would rather stay home and plow through the latest Marvel series on Netflix than pay through the nose for a trip to the theater. What do you do? If you're Fox, the answer seems simple: offer a taste of that marathon viewing experience at the theater. Hollywood Reporter understands that Fox wants to release three film adaptations of RL Stine's Fear Street books within three months -- a given movie would still be fresh in your mind when its sequel is hitting theaters. You'd be "bingeing movies" (as one tipster puts it) just about as quickly as the big screen format allows.

Fox has reportedly asked Fear Street director Leigh Janiak to write (and potentially rewrite) scripts that she could shoot back-to-back and release in a similar format. Think Lord of the Rings, but on a dramatically condensed time scale.

It'd undoubtedly be a pricey experiment for Fox, but it's easy to see why the company would try: if it pays off, it could lead to people watching every movie in a franchise instead of losing interest in the years they usually wait between releases. It might also reduce the temptation to wait for home releases if you know you can see everything over the course of a single summer.

There are a few potential problems with this strategy, of course. To start, there's simple logistics: it's still easier, quicker and cheaper to tap "next episode" at home than it is to venture to the theater multiple times. It's also a big bet that the movies themselves are good enough to sustain interest. As the Guardian observes, Universal is likely regretting its commitment to nine Dark Universe movies after watching the first title (2017's The Mummy) bomb critically and commercially. If a Netflix or Hulu show fails, it's not a horrendous expense. If the first movie in a short-release trilogy fails, however, that's a gigantic budget thrown out the window with no time to tweak the sequels before they arrive. Ironically, the Fear Street strategy could wind up underscoring online video's advantages in low production costs and immediate gratification.

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