Netflix is aiming to release 55 films per year and if you add in the company’s original animated movies and documentaries the number hits about 90 films a year, according to the NYT.
A new movie chief
You may have noticed that Netflix has started producing its own films. You may even like some of the more recent ones such as Okja, Mudbound and Roma. Or you may associate the company’s efforts with big-budget misfires such as War Machine and Bright.
Nonetheless, Netflix will significantly increase its efforts in the area. The New York Times is painting a profile of Netflix’s new movie chief, Scott Stuber, which the publication calls “one of the most important - and disruptive - people in the film business”. He is tasked with making Netflix’s original film business as successful as its TV division.
The company is now targeting 55 original films per year. 20 of these will have budgets between $20-200 million, while the rest will be indie and genre movies. If you add in animated movies – Netflix recently set up an animation studio – and documentaries the annual output hits 90 films.
One of the most prolific Hollywood studio
2018 is not over yet but for comparison, Disney has released 9 movies for the box-office in 2018. Sony Pictures has released 34, Fox 16, Paramount 9, Universal 29, and Warner Bros 22, according to Box Office Mojo. That is not an apples-to-apples comparison because these studios also release “straight-to-TV” films but Netflix is nevertheless becoming one of the most prolific Hollywood film studios.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Netflix outspends all other studios out there – sports rights excluded – but that budget also finances TV series, comedy, and more.
Mr. Stuber notes that Netflix has films coming from Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Dee Rees, Guillermo del Toro, Noah Baumbach, Michael Bay, and many more.
- “If you’re going to build a great film studio, you have to build it with great filmmakers,” Scott Stuber told the New York Times.
The new movie chief is also the man responsible for abandoning Netflix’s “member first” strategy. Movies are now getting a theatrical release in select theaters up to three weeks ahead of the online premiere but major cinema chains are pushing back. If Netflix wants its big-budget productions shown on the largest of screens it will have to give theaters an even longer exclusivity period.
- “In a world where consumer choice is driving everything — how we shop, how we order groceries, how we are entertained — we’re trying to get to a place where consumers have theatrical viewing as a choice. But we also think it is critical that, if you don’t have the means or the access or the time to go to a theater, you are still able to see movies without a long wait,” he said.
How much is the company willing to bend? 2019 will probably give us some answers.