Netflix Not Fully Embracing Theatrical Model Despite 'Glass Onion’ Deal
Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos recently discarded the idea of the company embracing the theatrical model in the wake of the recent deal with theaters to show Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story across North American theaters.
Speaking during a Q&A with investors after an earnings call earlier this week, Sarandos said the following:
“We are in the business of entertaining our members with Netflix movies on Netflix, so that’s where we focus all our energy and most of our spend.
There are all kinds of debates all the time, back and forth. But there is no question internally that we make our movies for our members, and we really want them to watch them on Netflix. And, of course, with one week of release in theaters, most people will see them on Netflix. Just like they see all movies. Most people watch most movies at home.”
He then added that this theatrical release is a way to allow fans that weren’t able to go to a film festival to see the movie on the big screen, but it does not reflect a shift on their overall release policies:
“Our films are always heavily featured in festivals around the world…and for all those folks who can’t get to a city where a festival is, this one-week release on 600 screens is a way of creating access to a film and building buzz. The same thing we are doing in those festivals. So I would look at this as another way to build anticipation for the film and build buzz for the film ahead of its Netflix release.”
During that earnings call, Netflix reported its strongest quarter subscriber numbers in a while. After a streak of two quarters losing subscribers, the streaming service reported an increase of 2.4 million new subscribers, setting the total global number at 223.09 million. It more than doubled experts’ estimates of 1.09 million new subscribers, and it was also reflected in monetary terms — the company reported a revenue of $7.93 billion (over the predicted $7.84 billion), and $3.10 per share (over the predicted $2.19).
Of course, this latest quarter involved the release of both volumes from Stranger Things season 4, Netflix’s crown jewel in terms of original content. However, there is more to the numbers than meets the eye. In North America, the streamer only added 100,000 new members, while that number spiked to 1.43 million in Asia. As far as future prospects are concerned, the company expects a net growth of 4.5 million new subscribers by the end of Q4, though they expect revenue to fall behind at $7.8 billion due to the strength of the dollar when compared to other currencies.
On November 23, 600 theaters across North America, including venues from all three major chains (AMC, Regal, and Cineworld), will screen Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story. The movie had its worldwide premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and recently screened at the BFI London Film Festival, in addition to other festivals across the U.S., receiving high praises from critics and audiences alike. The Oscar buzz for the movie is growing, and could potentially be a contender for Best Picture at the next edition of the Oscars.
Miguel Fernández is a Spanish student that has movies as his second passion in life. His favorite movie of all time is The Lord of the Rings, but he is also a huge Star Wars fan. However, fantasy movies are not his only cup of tea, as authors like Scorsese, Fincher, Kubrick or Hitchcock have been an obsession for him since he started to understand the language of filmmaking. He is that guy who will watch a black and white movie, just because it is in black and white.