Sony Possibly Looking To Offload Projects To Streaming Platforms | Film News
Sony Pictures is reportedly considering whether to offload several projects to streaming platforms in order to minimise the studio’s risk and maximise its profits.
Collider reports that new Sony exec Sanford Panitch has had multiple meetings with Netflix’s Tendo Nagenda about selling off risky development projects. And THR reports that the Masters Of The Universe movie is among them.
This isn’t particularly surprising considering that most major studios are now looking for risk-free blockbusters. Everyone wants their MCU-esque sure things. Gone are the days of studios taking a chance on a big budget original that has flop potential.
Sony’s marketing chief Josh Greenstein has reportedly become concerned about rising marketing costs, especially for costly flops like Men in Black: International that he feels the public could sense was a disappointment weeks before it opened.
Masters Of The Universe has been stuck in development hell for years, and while Sony have reportedly got the script to a point where the studio is ready to greenlight the movie, the project simply isn’t as hot as it once was. And rather than risk spending a big budget on a film they’re less sure about, the studio is considering shipping it off somewhere else.
Sony selling a project to a streaming service wouldn’t be a first, though. Universal sold the Michael Pena sci-fi movie Extinction to Netflix, while Paramount sold off the horror movie Eli to the streaming giant as well. That will debut later this month. Sony also just sold the Valiant Comics adaptation Harbinger to Paramount, so they’re not necessarily just selling to streamers.
The THR report adds that Sony’s TriStar label is already “devoting resources to streaming deals”, and that Paramount is “looking into dedicating a division to that purpose”. It also states that Warner Bros. may sell movies to outside streamers despite the fact that HBO Max is hungry for its own content.
While it’s not a sign that these studios are moving away from theatrical releases, it does show that they understand the impact of the upcoming streaming wars. They’ve determined that it may make more sense to provide content for the warring streamers than to compete against them with B-list tentpoles that still require A-list marketing spends.
Don’t be surprised to hear more news regarding studios selling projects to streamers. Netflix aims to have one huge tentpole release every quarter, and with their distribution tactics far different than a traditional studio, they seem more than happy to take on potentially riskier projects with the knowledge that they already have a heap of subscribers happy to watch, say, the new Michael Bay movie from home.
Speaking of Bay, his movie 6 Underground hits all Netflix territories on Friday, December 13.