Netflix plans to give three of its original films a proper cinema release before dropping them on its streaming platform.
Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, Sandra Bullock-starring Bird Box and Joel and Ethan Coen's The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will be shown exclusively in a select group of theatres in the US and abroad for a period of between one and three weeks before Netflix will make the films available for streaming.
The move marks a break with the company's policy of releasing movies only on its streaming site or at the same time as their box office debut.
The Nasdaq-listed company's share price surged by 5.5 per cent in morning trading following the announcement before edging lower again over the course of the afternoon.
Scott Stuber, head of original film at Netflix, said: “Netflix’s priority is our members and our filmmakers, and we are constantly innovating to serve them.”
In its third quarter report last month the company boasted a streaming revenue increase of 36 per cent year-on-year and more than 137m members around the globe.
Total revenue, including DVD sales, was up 34 per cent. Shares rose sharply after the results were published and helped investors get over its underwhelming second quarter.
But while Netflix has grown its audience at remarkable speed, the firm has also acquired an impressive pile of debt.
Last week the online movie giant announced that it would attempt to raise $2bn (£1.54bn) to help fund new content.
Two years ago the company decided to build its own film and TV studio, with the aim to reduce reliance on other studios, to gain greater control over content and to achieve "potentially lower costs", as Netflix put it in its latest report.
Recently, the company also announced the creation of a major new production hub in New Mexico, "where we anticipate bringing $1bn in production over the next ten years and creating up to 1,000 production jobs per year".