Earlier this week, Netflix released its earnings report for the quarter gone by and, it’s fair to say, business is booming. Beating Wall St. expectations at every turn, the streaming giant saw year-over-year revenue surge by 43% as the company added an impressive 7.4 million new subscribers. And though Netflix CEO Reed Hastings hinted that a price hike might be on the horizon, the steady stream of original content Netflix is bringing to viewers suggests that the company doesn’t really have to worry about a wave of subscribers cancelling the service anytime soon.
Netflix’s success notwithstanding, the world of film remains an area where the company feels it’s simply not getting the respect it deserves. Specifically, Netflix wants people to take its movie efforts more seriously, an issue which came to the forefront following word that the Cannes Film Festival banned Netflix films from the fest because Netflix didn’t want to release them in theaters.
There’s a tad more to the story, though, as Netflix included the following in its recent shareholder letter:
We regret our films not being able to compete at this year’s Cannes film festival. The festival adopted a new rule that means if a film is in competition at Cannes, it can not be watched on Netflix in France for the following three years. We would never want to do that to our French members.
The Los Gatos, Calif., company has explored the idea of buying movie theaters in Los Angeles and New York that would enable it to screen a growing pipeline of feature films and documentaries, according to people familiar with the situation.
Netflix executives considered acquiring Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres, the circuit co-owned by Mark Cuban, but recently backed off the idea, said two people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans are private.
Though the Landmark deal fell through due to cost considerations, the larger takeaway here is that Netflix appears to be very pro-active about making a huge dent across all areas of the media landscape. Though Netflix is primarily known for its huge stable of original TV shows, the company in recent years has invested more heavily in original films and appears interested in ensuring that said films aren’t ignored simply by virtue of the Netflix name behind them.