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Can Romeo & Juliet Save Netflix?

Rick Munarriz
October 5, 2013

The Montagues and Capulets will be bickering again on the big screen as Relativity Media's Romeo & Juliet reboot hits movie theaters next weekend.

Once again, William Shakespeare's tale of two -- spoiler alert -- doomed lovers will be updated to modern times.

A niche audience will be tuning in, but Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips has this opening weekend pretty much in the bag. But Romeo & Juliet may very well be a sleeper hit, and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) would be tickled to see that happen.

The leading video service struck a multiyear deal with Relativity in 2010, calling for the studio's major theatrically released films to be licensed exclusively to Netflix streaming subscribers during the "pay TV window" that shortly follows a movie's theatrical release. Instead of HBO or Showtime, Romeo & Juliet is going to be available only through Netflix. 

Relativity isn't always a hit factory. The studio's next film to hit Netflix's digital catalog is Movie 43. The star-studded montage of short clips in the vein of Ken