Despite the rumors that the Academy could be looking to change its rules of eligibility for streaming films, it appears that Netflix, one of the biggest streaming platforms out there, is going to continue doing it their way and not placate those potential changes.
The Hollywood Reporter covered Netflix’s recent earnings call and Ted Sarandos, a co-CEO of the company, claimed that “the film division is doing great.” However, he added, “Driving folks to a theater is just not our business. Having big new desirable content drives value for our members and drives value for our business. There are no major changes in play.”
Maybe he’s right. In the case of Netflix, they make their money on series, anyway. Stranger Things Season 4, Wednesday, and Squid Game alone each had over 1.2 billion hours watched in the first 28 days on the streamer. On the film side, while they have a few Oscar contenders like Don’t Look Up, Glass Onion, and The Irishman, the others in their top most-watched (in the first 28 days) are popcorn fun that doesn’t require theatrical viewing (I still bitter that they made me see The Gray Man in-person).
Streamers like Prime Video and Apple are not shy of putting their films in theaters first. Air has been relatively successful financially and still doesn’t have a streaming date, while Apple is getting ready to give Killers of the Flower Moon and Napoleon theatrical windows before streaming on their platform.
That’s not to say that Netflix won’t strike when the time is right. After all, they’ve been trying extremely hard to win Oscars the past decade, and I’m sure they’ll continue to utilize the Paris Theater in New York City and whatever theater they have in Los Angeles to make sure their awards players hit the prerequisites.
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