Critics and audiences have been praising Martin Scorsese's latest movie, Killers of the Flower Moon, but the box office results for the $200 million epic Western crime drama haven't been positive, and now extra drama is coming from where we least expected it.
Last week, it came to the attention of studio representatives that a small number of independent theaters had added their own intermissions to screenings of the 206-minute movie. This may not seem like a big issue at first, but it apparently breaks the cinemas' licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures. After stepping in, the movie will no longer be screened with a break if the studio can help it. A staff member at one of the affected theaters commented on the matter: "People were big fans of it. We were going to keep doing it going forward with longer movies, but now it doesn’t seem like an option."
Another manager whose theater had previously added an intermission to the movie, added: "Outside of the debate of whether or not there should be an intermission, or whether or not that creative or artistic choice should have been made, Paramount has done exactly what all movie lovers hope studios would do, which is help create a director’s vision onscreen in exactly the way that the director wants it to be seen." This is a fair point, but at the same time, studios are surely interested in having as many screens per day as possible when it comes to long releases such as Scorsese's latest, so there's a bit of everything in this conversation.
The "too long" debate has been a thing for the last few years, with many movies such as Avengers: Endgame or Avatar: The Way of Water making some moviegoers (and even filmmakers like Alexander Payne) say loudly that many theatrical releases nowadays are far too long. This isn't anything new, as many modern classics (Titanic comes to mind) found plenty of success in spite of bladder-destroying runtimes. In fact, the top 4 movies of all time (Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, Avatar: The Way of Water, and Titanic) all run for longer than two and a half hours.
Scorsese himself recently commented on this, saying that people "sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours," a point that James Cameron also made last year ahead of the release of the second Avatar movie, a behemoth that would later earn more than $2 billion worldwide.
If you're not willing to risk a trip to the bathroom in the middle of a key scene of Scorsese's latest, you'll be able to watch it on Apple TV+ either in late November or December. For now, you can look into the most anticipated movies coming soon to cinemas as well as streaming.