Scorsese's ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Forced Intermissions


| LAST UPDATE 10/30/2023

By Olivia Smith
Scorcese Movie Intermission Cinema
PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Despite not including an intermission in his 206-minute film Killers of the Flower Moon, legendary director Martin Scorsese has been unable to stop a handful of movie theaters worldwide from inserting one themselves, with intervals ranging from six to fifteen minutes. Two European cinema chains and one independent theater in Amsterdam offered screenings of Killers of the Flower Moon with an intermission last week. A spokesperson for UCI Cinemas, a chain with theaters in Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Brazil, confirmed that all of its nearly 80 theaters had included a six-minute break in the middle of the film.

The studios releasing Killers of the Flower Moon have contacted the theaters to inform them that they were violating their contracts by adding intermissions to the film without the permission of Scorsese, Apple TV, or Paramount. According to Variety, the Lyric, an independent theater in Colorado, was advertising to patrons that its film screenings included an eight-minute intermission. However, Paramount and Apple TV contacted the theater and forced the theater to stop any publicity of an intermission. Since then, the theatre has projected the film without any breaks.

Killers Flower Moon DiCaprio
Album / Alamy Stock Photo
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The filmmakers behind the are unhappy that some theaters have added intermissions to the film without their permission. Thelma Schoonmaker, the film's editor, called it a "violation." While Scorsese is yet to publicly respond to news of forced intermission, he has previously defended his latest historical epic against criticisms that its three-hour-and-26-minute runtime is too long, saying that people can "sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours." 

The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone, and Robert De Niro, follows an investigation into brutal murders within the Osage Nation. Scorcese's film, hailed as a "modern masterpiece," joins a long lineup of recent films with exceedingly long runtimes. Other blockbusters past the three-hour runtime mark include The Batman, Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, and Oppenheimer. Fan reactions to the film's length and unapproved intermissions have been ambivalent. Much like the filmmakers, some viewers have pushed to keep the film uninterrupted, while others have insisted some time for a restroom break couldn't hurt

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