Netflix To Reportedly Be ‘More Picky’ About Expensive Projects | Film News
Netflix has gained a reputation for throwing bucketloads of money at projects. But it’s a reputation they may be looking to change, as new reports say that the streaming giant is looking to cut down on the amount of hugely expensive films and TV shows in the future.
This is thanks to a number of expensive flops, Triple Frontier being one of them. That film had a stacked cast featuring Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac and Charlie Hunnam, and the budget ballooned to $115 million. Since Netflix don’t release viewing figures, we can’t know how many people watched it. But it probably wasn’t enough to justify that budget.
The company is hoping for less expensive misfires. Netflix chief Ted Sarandos reportedly told several of his high-ranking TV and film executives back in June that the company needed to be more picky with its spending on big budget productions. He wants Netflix to instead focus on projects that will bring in large numbers of viewers instead of justifying high price tags with only critical acclaim.
So what does that mean for films like Alfonso Cuaron‘s Oscar-winning Roma? Netflix claimed that was a hit, but with no data to go on, how do we know that’s true? That seems like the kind of critically acclaimed yet unprofitable film Sarandos is referring to.
With the streaming wars coming, Netflix seems to be cutting back on their need to be taken seriously as a studio, and are instead looking to stay ahead of the pack.
This may be as a result of the streaming giant now having the cache in Hollywood they so desperately sought. Roma won three Oscars and was not far away from Best Picture, and Netflix shows took home a record 23 Primetime Emmy Awards last year. So basically, Netflix has done the hard work, and no longer has to spend mountains of money in order to be seen as relevant.
What does this mean for Netflix’s reputation as a studio willing to take a chance on films and shows other studios wouldn’t? And what about how they often give filmmakers full creative control over their projects? We’ll wait and see where the line gets drawn. It’s possible there’s now only a small number of arthouse projects, but they’re given to big names such as Martin Scorsese.
We should also expect to see more cancellations on the TV side of things. There was a time when Netflix seemed to renew everything; that was mostly because they wanted as much content as possible in order to compete. Now at the top of the TV world, that is no longer the case, so expect to see more cancellations of expensive, under-performing shows such as in the past with The Get Down and Gypsy.
There are plenty of questions still up in the air, and it will be interesting to see how Netflix’s business model alters. One thing is for sure though; the streaming wars are certainly changing how even the biggest companies are doing business.