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‘Trial Of The Chicago 7,’ Now One Of Netflix’s Most-Watched Movies, Is A Huge Loss For Paramount

The sale of Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar-friendly crowdpleaser further diminishes Paramount as the home of what was once proudly a Paramount picture.

It makes sense that Paramount

would sell Aaron Sorkin’s pretty terrific The Trial of the Chicago 7 to Netflix

for $56 million. The $35 million-budgeted melodrama, about the eight defendants infamously charged by the federal government with conspiracy, incitement to riot and other charges related to anti-Vietnam war protests that rocked the 1968 Democratic National Convention, was intended to open in limited release on September 25 before going wide on October 16. That’s still essentially what happened, except the limited theatrical release was courtesy of Netflix and the “wide” release was its debut on the streaming platform, where it now ranks as the second most-watched movie behind Hubie Halloween. Paramount made money on the deal, but in the process, they lost a valuable awards contender and let Netflix take the likely glory for what would otherwise be a prototypical Paramount picture.

Paramount has been hurt worst among the major studios by the shifts in moviegoing tastes since late 2015. Not only have

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