Netflix buys Beasts of No Nation for theaters and your queue

Netflix has acquired another movie, and it would like you to watch it in theaters, and then one more time online: The company will bring its new drama Beasts of No Nation in select theaters in the U.S. later this year, while simultaneously releasing it on its streaming service worldwide.

Beasts of No Nation, which tells the tale of an African child soldier, stars Idris Elba, who previously won a Golden Globe for his leading role in Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom. The movie cost [company]Netflix[/company] $12 million — a major investment for a company that has mostly concentrated on original TV show productions and has only recently begun to spend money on movies.

Last fall, Netflix announced that it has acquired the rights to a sequel of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which will be shown simultaneously in select iMax theaters and online. Netflix was planning to bring the movie to additional screens. However, AMC said that it wasn’t going be part of the release because Netflix isn’t honoring the traditional release windows, which give theaters a couple of months before a movie is available on DVD, and eventually on streaming services as well.

So why is Netflix going through the trouble of a theatrical release, if most theater chains won’t be playing ball? One word: awards. Beasts of No Nation only qualifies for the Oscars and other major motion picture awards if it is shown in theaters — even if most consumers may opt to watch it in the comfort of their own living room, as part of their Netflix subscription.

Netflix is reportedly buying Pee-Wee Herman movie

Netflix is in the process of buying a potential cult movie, according to The Wrap, which is reporting that the streaming service is closing in on a Pee-Wee Herman movie. Netflix is picking up the movie after it was dropped by Universal, according to the report, and shooting is scheduled to start in 2015. The deal, which Netflix hasn’t confirmed yet, could be the company’s next step into the world of feature films.

Pee-Wee Herman actor Paul Reubens hinted at a unique partner in an interview last month, when he told the A.V. Club that the movie had been taken over by an “amazing company,” and that a “really big announcement” was forthcoming. Reubens is co-writing the film with Paul Rust, and it is being produced by Judd Apatow.

[company]Netflix[/company] has become a major player in the TV space with original shows like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black, but the company is still relatively new to feature films. The company announced a deal for a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon earlier this year, and also bought the rights to four still-untitled Adam Sandler movies.

However, Netflix already has Pee-Wee in its catalog: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse officially started streaming on the service earlier this week.

HBO Gone: CTO leaves after HBO outsources streaming service

HBO CTO Otto Berkes quit his job Tuesday after news broke that the cable network is outsourcing the development of its online streaming service, which is set to debut next spring.

HBO had announced in October that it wants to go directly to consumers in 2015, selling them a new streaming service that wouldn’t be part of a traditional cable bundle and would more closely competes with Netflix’s video service. At the time, many assumed that the service would be based on HBO Go, the network’s existing TV Everywhere service for cable subscribers.

However, Fortune reported Tuesday that HBO’s leadership decided to outsource the development of the service to MLBAM instead. The Major League Baseball subsidiary already powers streaming services for WWE and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network as well MLB’s own streaming service. Executives didn’t have confidence in Berkes and his team to pull off the launch of HBO’s forthcoming streaming service, according to the report.

It didn’t take long for Berkes to respond; Variety relayed news of his exit just hours after the original report came out. The industry publication quoted a memo sent out by Berkes, which reads in part:

[blockquote person=”” attribution=””]“This is a change in direction from what I planned with HBO and the approach will not utilize my overall capabilities. Therefore, I feel that this is the right time for me to move on from HBO.”[/blockquote]

Netflix exec: we want to be everywhere in the world in five years

Netflix wants to be present all around the world before 2020, said the company’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos during an investor event Monday. Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Sarandos said: “Within five years, we’d love to see the product be completely global, available everywhere in the world.”

[company]Netflix[/company] stepped up its international expansion this year by entering six new markets in Europe, including France and Germany. The company also announced earlier this month that it wants to launch in Australia and New Zealand next April. That launch will bring the number of countries that Netflix is available in to over 50.

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Netflix still has a lot more subscribers in the U.S. than in its international markets, but the company is now growing twice as fast abroad. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said in the past that the company may eventually generate up to 80 percent of its revenue outside of the U.S..

Netflix plans “sizable expansion” into new markets in 2015

Netflix wants to further expand into international markets next year, according to the company’s CFO David Wells, who said at an investor event Tuesday that it plans a “sizable expansion” for 2015. Wells added that the expansion will be similar to what Netflix did in 2014, when the company entered six new countries in Europe, or potentially even “a little bit more.”

Season 4 of The Killing goes live on Netflix

The Killing may have been too depressing for network TV, but thanks to Netflix, (S NFLX) the dark and brilliant crime drama is now back for a short final season: All six episodes of season four went live on Netflix Friday. The Killing is not a newbie on Netflix: The streaming service previously collaborated with AMC on the production of season three. But with this season being a Netflix exclusive, you’ll actually get to hear some swear words, according to an interview with executive producer Veena Sud.