Recently, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said that Netflix is going to double its spending on original content. And why wouldn't they? Between House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, original comedy specials, and the surprise mega-hit Orange Is The New Black, Netflix is currently turning the content distribution model on its head. The original content blitz is working - in a big way. Netflix customers are sticking around specifically because of all of these exclusive shows. Why not push it as far as it will go?
Well, it looks like that's exactly what Netflix is thinking. They're thinking big. Not content with simply providing original TV series, Netflix may be on the way to producing big-budget movies - movies that would premiere on Netflix the same day they arrive in theaters.
Speaking at a recent event hosted by Film Independent, Sarandos pretty much confirmed that the company is strongly considering original films as their new project. We're not talking small budget films, either. Netflix is already producing those in the form of exclusive comedy specials and documentaries. We're talking big-time releases here.
Here's the relevant soundbite from Sarandos, courtesy All Things D:
“What we’re trying to do for TV, the model should extend pretty nicely to movies. Meaning, why not premiere movies on Netflix, the same day they’re opening in theaters? And not little movies - there’s a lot of ways, and lot of people to do that [already]. Why not big movies? Why not follow the consumers’ desire to watch things when they want?”
My first reaction is...word. Why not give people what they want? Do people want to watch theatrical releases from the comfort of their own couches? You're damn right they do. Or at least I do. You've gotta admit - it sounds like a logical move for Netflix. If they can produce the nearly 13 hours required of a season of House of Cards, a truly cinematic series in terms of scope, why not original, big-budget films? Netflix already has a working relationship with David Fincher and Kevin Spacey - what say we start there, huh?
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Sarandos and Netflix are talking about changing a rigid system that doesn't really like to budge. Just what does Sarandos mean when he says "big" movies? Does he mean blockbusters? Some indie films are already available to view while they're in theaters via cable providers. Is that what he's talking about - something like that?
You probably shouldn't hold your breath that you'll be able to watch the third installment of The Hobbit in your PJs - that's all I'm saying.
But from Sarandos' own words, Netflix is eyeing original films. There's nothing about this that should make you feel anything other than hopeful, and happy.
Image via Netflix, YouTube