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Bigger, Fewer, and Better is the key behind Netflix’s leaner movie mandate

Bigger, Fewer, and Better is the key behind Netflix’s leaner movie mandate

Synopsis

As it prepares a $200 million-plus 'The Gray Man' from the 'Avengers: Endgame' helmers and an expensive set of 'Knives Out' sequels, the Scott Stuber-run division is adjusting to a new set of realities.

Bigger, Fewer, and Better is the key behind Netflix’s leaner movie mandate
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Bigger, better, and fewer are the words that come to mind when thinking about bigger, better, and Inside Netflix, feature film executives, led by division chief Scott Stuber, are grappling with how to operate as the digital streaming giant shifts course and confronts new realities.

Such as lagging subscriber growth (it lost 200,000 subs in the most recent quarter) and rising competition (Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ now has 205 million subs combined, just behind Netflix’s 221 million global subs).

Read more: Netflix will pay $59.1 million to settle a tax dispute with Italy

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to a number of people with links to Netflix, including executives, producers, and agents, to build a picture of a streaming behemoth struggling to reclaim its mojo following a devastating earnings report on April 19 (Netflix’s stock has dropped 44 percent since then).

“Morale is stuck at stock level,”  jokes one executive. Given the changes, another executive characterised the tone at Netflix as “distracted.”

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Sarandos mentioned “major event films” like The Gray Man and Knives Out 2 as a means to drive sub growth on Netflix’s earnings call. Gray Man, a $200 million-plus budgeted picture starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans and directed by Avengers: Endgame’s Anthony and Joe Russo, will open in select theatres on July 15 before premiering on Netflix on July 22.

Read more: Netflix’s go wrong has introduced the critical second demonstration

Meanwhile, Knives Out 2 — the second instalment in filmmaker Rian Johnson’s whodunit franchise, for which Netflix paid $469 million in March 2021 — is expected to hit theatres in the fourth quarter of this year. On the April conference with analysts, Sarandos stated, “The upcoming slate in ’22, we’re confident, is better and more impactful than it was in ’21.
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Many people feel that the age of Netflix’s pricey vanity projects, whether animation or live action (such as Martin Scorsese’s $175 million The Irishman), is likely past. One individual claims, “This desire to do whatever to attract brilliance and give them carte blanche is fading gone,” There will be exceptions, of course — this is Hollywood, after all — but this new period appears to be defined by one concept: discipline.

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