MOVIES

Netflix’s Movie Strategy Is Changing

While Netflix is slashing costs by reducing its movie output (in addition to laying off some of its staff), it’s overlooking a key way to make money — releasing its films in theaters. The New York Times notes how Dan Lin is sticking with the company’s previous ethos of putting most of its output directly onto the streaming service. There have been exceptions over the years, like “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” making Netflix history with its limited theatrical release, but that doesn’t happen very often. It’s a missed opportunity, as the article quotes John Fithian, former president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, who said, “The data from the pandemic is clear that movies released only to streaming don’t get the awareness and pop of a movie that was first released theatrically.”

In addition to limiting output, it appears Lin wants to scale back what the company pays actors and directors to create Netflix originals. For example, Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, and Gal Gadot were reportedly paid $20 million each to star in “Red Notice.” Instead, there will be a greater emphasis on offering bonuses after the fact, depending on how well a given movie performs. According to the article, plenty of individuals are worried this could scare off talent, but others remain optimistic it could present new opportunities for artists. 

If Netflix wants more than expensive action movies, it may invest in low- or mid-budget films in genres that major studios often ignore, like romantic comedies. Neither Netflix nor Lin commented on anything in the article, but hopefully, artists receive the tools and resources they need to continue making great works.

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