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Hollywood producer Jason Blum thinks movie studios and theaters have already lost the battle to Netflix

The filmmaker says it’s “preposterous” that some studios insist on their movies being seen in theaters.

Producer Jason Blum accepts an Independent Spirit Award for the movie “Get Out.” Tommaso Boddi / Getty

Filmmaker Jason Blum thinks that the battle between studios, theaters and streaming services like Netflix over how movies are released is basically over — and his industry lost.

The movie industry has long been debating when films should be offered outside of theaters. Simultaneously? After weeks? After months? Well, Blum said Saturday that during that negotiation, companies like Netflix and Amazon won by creating their own content that effectively allowed them to usurp the studios.

“We in the movie business kind of missed the boat,” Blum told Recode’s Peter Kafka at SXSW in Austin, Texas. “While we couldn’t figure out an agreement to let people do what they wanted to do, Netflix said ‘You guys keep fighting. We’re going to give the consumer what they want, and we’re going to give them movies at home.’”

Blum, who is obviously a fan of the communal experience that comes from watching a film with others in a theater, said it’s a “shame” that happened. But there’s no turning back: “The horse is gone.”

Known for his low-budget horror films like “Get Out” and “Paranormal Activity,” Blum had a lot to say about what he saw as his industry’s strategic mistakes. While there had been some recent momentum toward a grand deal that would allow providers like Netflix to show films sooner than when they were shown in theaters, Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox is seen as a major setback given Disney’s affinity for the in-theater, blockbuster experience.

The cultural impact of studios losing the fight? Blum said he worried that the entire movie industry would not stay relevant if it kept demanding that a younger generation of content-viewers only view content the way Hollywood demanded.

“I really disagree with filmmakers telling the audience they have to see a movie in a movie theater. What that did, in my opinion, is make television series much more culturally relevant than movies,” he said. “The notion in 2018 or ‘19 of telling the consumer — of telling an 18-year-old — where he should see what you made is preposterous.”

You can watch Blum’s full interview from SXSW below.

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