‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Intermission Violations: Apple, Paramount Crack Down on Handful of Theaters Breaking Agreement

Killers of the Flower Moon
Everett Collection

Martin Scorsese did not include an intermission in his 206-minute epic, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” But that hasn’t stopped a handful of movie theaters around the world from inserting one themselves, with intervals ranging from between six minutes and 15 minutes.

As of Friday morning, two European cinema chains and one independent theater in Amsterdam sold tickets to screenings of “Killers of the Flower Moon” with a built-in break. A spokesperson for UCI Cinemas, an exhibition chain with venues in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Brazil, confirmed that all of its nearly 80 theaters — with the exception of Imax screens in Porta di Roma, Orio, and Campi Bisenzio — had included a “six-minute interval towards the middle of the film.”

The Vue, a U.K.-based theater chain, and an Amsterdam cinema called The Movies Haarlemmerdijk also were offering showings with a break, according to their websites.

Domestically, The Lyric, a theater in Fort Collins, Colo., showed the historical drama with an intermission until Oct. 26. However, they did away with the intermission after getting in trouble with Paramount, the film’s distributor, and Apple Original Films, its producer. The companies have been contacting theaters that have violated their contract by splitting up the film and telling them to show “Killers of the Flower Moon” as intended, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.

To be clear, only a smattering of venues out of the roughly 10,000 globally that are screening “Killers of the Flower Moon” have included an intermission, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Thelma Schoonmaker, the editor of the film and longtime collaborator with Scorsese, told 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.”

Paramount Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

While Scorsese has not directly addressed the intermission (or lack thereof), he defended the long runtime of “Killers of the Flower Moon” in an interview with the Hindustan Times, saying, “People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours.”

Other analysts agree with Scorsese’s position.

“If Scorsese didn’t intend for there to be an intermission, I think that should be at least the primary way people can see it,” says Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice Pro. “That being said, it was a long movie. And I think if there is enough demand out there, and especially if it means a difference in helping someone make the decision to go and buy a ticket, rather than not go see the movie, then maybe there’s an economical and practical argument for at least a limited option.”

Spokespeople at Apple and Paramount declined to comment.

From Variety US