Bigger, Fewer and Better – The Hollywood Reporter

Greater, better, less.It’s a refrain inside Netflix Feature film executives led by the department head Scott stuberDigital streaming giants have changed course, slowing subscriber growth (lost 200,000 subscribers in the latest quarter) and intensifying competition (Disney +, Hulu, ESPN + bundles now Faced with new realities such as 205 million registrants), we are working to operate it, just behind Netflix’s 221 million global subscribers).

Hollywood Reporter Talk to multiple sources, from executives to producers to agents associated with the company, to paint a picture of a streaming giant trying to regain Mojo after the shocking earnings disclosure on April 19. (Netflix lost 44% of its shares, the value from that day). “Morale is stuck at inventory levels,” jokes one executive. Another executive explains that the current Netflix atmosphere is “distracting” given the changes.

The reason is easy to understand. In response to Wall Street, the company is taking cost-cutting measures, including reducing more than 150 employees (2% of employees). Television and other parts of the company have been hit, but the focus is on the functional sector. A significant portion of the cut has wiped out the family’s live-action film division, and the original independent functional division that made the film with a budget of less than $ 30 million has also been wiped out of rank.

As Netflix moves forward, it wants to focus on making bigger movies, making better movies, and releasing at a slower pace than before. “Only a few years ago, we had a hard time monetizing the market with a small art movie,” said Netflix co-chief. Ted Sarandos He told analysts at the company’s April earnings announcement. “Today we are releasing some of the most popular and most watched movies in the world. Over the past few months, Don’t look up When Red notification When Adam Project, As an example. However, it is unclear to people inside and outside the company what this “bigger, better, less” directive means.

“Small movies never go away,” says one insider, but they can be more niche and cater to a passionate audience. Another insider agrees that the output will be reduced and the need for so many executives will be reduced. “They were executives and overstaffed,” says the insider. And just because it’s big doesn’t necessarily mean more than $ 150 million in movies. Expect more subtle changes. For example, instead of making two movies for $ 10 million, the company makes one for $ 20 million. “The goal is not to make it cheaper for quantity, but to make the best version of something,” says one insider. And the streamer remains in the acquisition game. This has been proven in recent transactions of over $ 50 million. Emily Blunt Thriller Pain Hustler..

On a Netflix earnings call, Sarands pointed out the following “big event movie”: Grayman When Knives Out 2 As a way to promote sub-growth. Grayman,starring Ryan Gosling When Chris Evans In a director’s over $ 200 million budget movie Avengers: Endgame duo Anthony When Joe RussoWill land in some theaters on July 15th, before bowing for service on July 22nd. Knives Out 2 — The next chapter of the Whodunit franchise from the director Rian Johnson And star Daniel Craig, Netflix launched a $ 469 million deal in March 2021 — will bow in the fourth quarter of this year. “I’m confident that the slate scheduled for 2010 is better and more influential than it is in 2009,” Salands told analysts in a phone call in April.

Despite the still goal of “new weekly movies,” whether live-action or animated, animations are being scrutinized, projects that were in the bubble are being disciplined, and releases are less frequent. increase.

This move is far from just a few years ago when movies over $ 100 million or $ 150 million were rare. It was also a time when Netflix was frequently cited in the media as the savior of mid-budget films and as a staple of former theaters such as romantic comedies and thrillers. Someday my maybe, Kiss booth When To all the boys I loved before It became a hit, became a social media star from an actor, and launched a mini franchise.

The company is currently not giving a very specific direction. “There will be conversations between producers and directors about size and genre in the coming weeks,” says one producer who has a meeting about books and is eager for insights. However, this is an uncertain moment for streaming giants, with more cuts and possible executive exits, and some producers and agents can be in a bad mood. “Is it okay to bring the package now? No, I’m not,” says one partner. (Netflix Co-Chief Reed Hastings Did not give the movie chief stubber or TV reader exactly Bella Bajaria Improving self-confidence Maureen Daud,and New York Times profile Published on May 28, when asked about the potential for top executives to stay, he replied:

One of the things many agree on is the era of expensive vanity projects on Netflix, whether animated or live-action. Martin Scorsese$ 175 million Irishman), Probably the end. “This tendency to do something to attract talent and give them a chart blanche is gone,” says one. As always, there are exceptions — this is Hollywood after all — but in essence, this new era seems to be characterized by one idea: discipline.

Source: Nielsen Streaming Ranking, August 2020-April 2022. THR Research

This story first appeared in the June 1st issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.

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