Studios Crack Down on Theaters Showing ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ With Intermissions

Some theaters are choosing to insert an intermission into “Killers of the Flower Moon,” The Wrap has learned.

Neither Paramount as the theatrical distributor nor Apple as the producer were pleased, an individual with knowledge of the matter said.

Two European cinema chains and one indie theater in Amsterdam offered showings of Martin Scorsese and Eric Roth’s 206-minute period piece drama with an intermission. Meanwhile, at least one theater in Fort Collins, Colorado, offered a mid-film break for the film’s first full week of theatrical release. But protests from the studios put a stop to that.

The length ranged from six minutes (about enough time to race to and from the restroom) to 15 minutes (enough time to buy concessions without having to hurry). Paramount and Apple have reportedly been contacting theaters to veto the idea and demanding they show the Leonardo DiCaprio/Robert De Niro/Lily Gladstone drama as the filmmakers intended.

An insider with knowledge of the matter told TheWrap that “exhibiting this film with an intermission has occurred in a few isolated instances.” They also noted that exhibiting the picture with an intermission is a violation of Paragraph 3 of the Domestic Licensing Agreement (MLA). This states that “unless otherwise authorized in writing, Exhibitor shall exhibit the Title, without alteration or intermission, on the Screen Auditorium identified in the Booking Confirmation….”

Thelma Schoonmaker, the editor of the film and longtime Scorsese collaborator, called the choice “a violation” in an interview with The Standard, “I understand that somebody’s running it with an intermission which is not right. That’s a violation so I have to find out about it.”

“Killers of the Flower Moon,” documenting a true-life murder spree of oil-rich Native Americans committed by greedy white capitalists, opened with $44 million worldwide last weekend. The well-reviewed film cost Apple $200 million, with Paramount merely handling theatrical distribution, and is considered to be a frontrunner for Best Picture at next year’s Academy Awards.

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