Martin Scorsese's latest film, "The Irishman," was distributed by Netflix, with a limited theater release earlier this month before it became available on the streaming service.

TV expert Bob Thompson said this method marks a distinct change in how people will consume movies.

"It is [a game changer], and theater owners are going to have to live with it," said Thompson. "These windows for films being made by the likes of Netflix or Amazon are going to remain really short."

The film spans three and a half hours, with no intermission at theaters, and unlimited intermissions at home.

"I always used to say I would prefer to watch movies made as movies in the theater, and things that were made for TV on a television set, but that's become meaningless," said Thompson.

Thompson is the founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture and a trustee professor of Television and Popular Culture at the Newhouse School of Public communications at Syracuse.