Netflix Seeks More Theatrical Performances For “Greater Cultural Impact”


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings speaks during an LG press event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the International CES 2014 on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

David Becker | Getty Images

Netflix is ​​aiming for a more traditional theatrical release for some of its future films, according to a report by CinemaCon’s JPMorgan.

Analysts for the company, who attended the largest cinema industry conference in Las Vegas last week, said they met with management teams from several exhibition companies who said the streaming service had a “real interest” in showing some of its films in theaters play for a long period of time.

“Netflix wants its films to have a greater cultural impact,” JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani wrote in a research note released Monday.

Netflix officials did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Netflix has long been less interested in making money at the box office and more in getting content to its subscribers as quickly as possible. The streaming service has rejected the traditional Hollywood release window, where a movie will be in theaters for about three months before it’s available as video-on-demand or on a streaming service’s website or app.

In the past, exceptions were made to allow Netflix films to qualify for the Oscar competition.

However, with the pandemic causing the studios to shrink the release window from 90 days to around 45 days, Netflix appears to be rethinking its strategy.

“The company is in the process of determining how their films will be marketed and how much they will spend on advertising, as most releases would cost $ 50 million or more.” [print and advertising]“Wrote Quadrani.

For a theatrical release, studios pump out marketing months in advance and then increase that saturation in the weeks leading up to the opening weekend. Then, in the weeks that followed, more advertisements were flooded into the market to convince those who didn’t appear on the movie’s debut to watch it.

“A movie theater window that is too short does not serve the purpose as it becomes difficult to market a film with a limited run,” wrote Quadrani.

Of course, traditional marketing can be expensive. In general, the advertising spend for a movie is calculated at about half of its production budget. For a film that costs $ 200 million, an additional $ 100 million will be spent on print and media advertising.

The advantage is that these expenses can be recouped when a film thrives at the box office.