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After conquering TV, Netflix is setting its sights on the movie industry

Published Mar 15th, 2017 6:46PM EDT
Netflix Movies

Over the past 4 years, Netflix has successfully transformed itself into the biggest purveyor of original TV content on the planet. With an unrivaled and arguably obsessive focus on churning out compelling programming across a multitude of genres, the streaming giant is planning to release upwards of 1,000 hours of original programming in 2017 alone. As a point of reference, Netflix in 2016 released 600 hours of original content.

Of course, putting out original content is one thing, but releasing original content capable of attracting eyeballs and impacting mainstream culture is a far more challenging task. Netflix, to its credit, seems to have a knack for doing just that. From documentaries like Making a Murderer to sci-fi thrillers like Stranger Things, Netflix has become an industry leader when it comes to culture shifting TV content.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Netflix is now seeking to further entrench itself as a media entity to be reckoned with. Looking to expand beyond traditional TV programming, Netflix now has its eyes set on conquering movies. Later this year, for example, Netflix will release a blockbuster film called “Bright” starring Will Smith, a project that it reportedly spent $90 million to purchase.

As our sister site Deadline reported last year, “This is a game changer: Netflix’s Ted Sarandos got a big-ticket feature, and he paid a premium for it.”

Delving deeper into Netflix’s new obsession with movies, Bloomberg reports that the streaming giant is looking to release 30 standalone movies in 2017 alone. And borrowing from their TV strategy, the movies will span a myriad of genres.

Speaking to Netflix’s grand ambitions, the company a few weeks ago inked a deal for a new Robert De Niro mob movie about the last days of Jimmy Hoffa.

Netflix certainly isn’t new to the movie game, but it’s efforts thus far haven’t exactly been critical successes. As to how Netflix might achieve the same level of success with movies that it’s enjoyed with TV, Bloomberg notes:

For Netflix, which will spend more than $6 billion on TV shows and movies this year, the answer is money, talent and volume, as well as almost 100 million paying subscribers. The company’s future slate includes “War Machine,” a comedy featuring Brad Pitt and Oscar winner Tilda Swinton that’s due out in May, and a new film from director Martin Scorsese.

The company is also poised to hire Scott Stuber, producer of “Ted’’ and “The Break-Up,’’ to shepherd its film ambitions, according to publications including the Hollywood Reporter and His job will be wrangle top talent and persuade filmmakers to shed their attachment to the cineplex.

If there’s one thing we know, it’s hard to bet against Netflix once it sets its sights on a new challenge, no matter how insurmountable it may seem.

Lastly, a teaser trailer for the aforementioned Will Smith movie can be seen below.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.