Aug 21, 2018
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Netflix dives into big-budget Hollywood moviemaking with eye on box office

The promotional campaign for Will Smith’s new movie Bright included all the trappings of a Hollywood blockbuster, from a panel at Comic-Con to a premiere where the actor’s Independence Day had opened 21 years ago.

Yet unlike other films opening during the holidays, Bright won’t be seen in theatres around the world. Starting Dec. 22, it was available on Netflix, the world’s largest online TV network. The company, which got its start mailing rented DVDs and made binge-watching a household term, is now trying to upend the movie business just as it has TV, proving you don’t need to go to a theatre for the latest epic film.

Bright is the company’s first attempt at a big-budget Hollywood production, bringing together a bona fide movie star in a fantasy, buddy-cop tale that could have come from any studio playbook. Directed by David Ayer, who also made Suicide Squad, it’s a warning shot to studios and theatre owners that Netflix is targeting a big chunk of the $38.6-billion (U.S.) global box office. To underscore the commitment, the company has already ordered a sequel, with Will Smith signed on.

“It is exciting to be on the front lines with a place that feels like the future,” Bryan Unkeless, one of the film’s producers, said at Netflix’s Hollywood offices, where the company has test “living rooms” to see how its projects look at home. “The lobby feels like the central nervous system of the industry right now.”

In the last five years, Netflix has transformed itself from a library of reruns into one of the largest producers of entertainment. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company will spend as much as $8 billion on programming next year — with more than a fourth going for original scripted series, standup specials, anime projects and feature films.

It’s done so by hiring some of Hollywood’s top writers, including Jenji Kohan, creator of Orange Is the New Black, and more recently Shonda Rhimes. The approach has worked critically and commercially. Netflix earned the second-most Emmy awards of any TV network this year and has added more than 15 million customers this year through September, helping to send the stock up 51 per cent.

Movies are the next frontier. The company will release more than 80 films in 2018, building on the 50 or so released this year. Most are inexpensive dramas and comedies. But a handful, like the $90-million Bright, are movies typically released by a major studio.

To develop and build its movie slate, Netflix hired Scott Stuber, the producer of Ted and Central Intelligence. Stuber has relationships with everyone in the industry and now has one of its biggest chequebooks.

He’s joined a team that’s exploiting new visual and sound technology to reinvent moviemaking for the internet age.

On a balmy December evening in Hollywood, tour guides led a small crowd from Netflix’s new 20,000-square-foot sound stage to its lab on the second floor, where a colour scientist tests new cameras. To see how movies look at home, Netflix employs people who watch from couches in the dark. In one such room, senior technology specialist Richard Smith explained high dynamic range, which improves the quality of images on your TV. Netflix is now releasing the majority of its most expensive series and movies in HDR, and many new TVs include the technology.

Next, Smith showed off Dolby Atmos, the latest in sound, with clips from Mudbound, a film set in the Deep South that represents Netflix’s best chance at an Oscar this year.

“What you can do in your living room is as good as what you get in a theatre or any viewing experience,” Smith said.

Those claims enrage theatre chains, many of which refuse to screen Netflix movies. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, the largest, want the company to release movies in theatres before they appear online, giving exhibitors the exclusivity they enjoy with major Hollywood studios.

But that resistance reflects a business in crisis. Summer box-office receipts in North America slumped below $4 billion for the first time since 2006, and theatre owners are merging to fight the downturn. They’re investing in new food and seating options, along with virtual-reality experiences, to set their facilities apart from home viewing.

With movie-going down, uneasy studios are once again threatening to release films in homes shortly after they leave theatres. Cinema owners have fought this effort, too, and a handful of powerful filmmakers are on their side. Quentin Tarantino and Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan have said their movies are designed to be seen on the big screen.

But many producers, even those at the highest levels, will be happy to work with Netflix, given the company’s deep pockets, approach to financing and willingness to provide creative freedom.

Netflix pays producers a premium over their cost of production in exchange for global distribution rights, ensuring a profit for the financiers. For more expensive movies, the company’s commitment includes enough money for a marketing campaign, as well as the equivalent of a performance-based incentive.

Eventually, most movies end up on television anyway. Dunkirk became available for digital rental this week, and its production studio, Warner Bros., has a deal with HBO that means it’ll probably be available on the premium channel early next year.

“More people will see Dunkirk on streaming than in theatres,” said Roy Lee, producer of The Lego Movie and Death Note.

Source: Toronto Star

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Front Page, Headline, Industry News

Netflix dives into big-budget Hollywood moviemaking with eye on box office

The promotional campaign for Will Smith’s new movie Bright included all the trappings of a Hollywood blockbuster, from a panel at Comic-Con to a premiere where the actor’s Independence Day had opened 21 years ago.

Yet unlike other films opening during the holidays, Bright won’t be seen in theatres around the world. Starting Dec. 22, it was available on Netflix, the world’s largest online TV network. The company, which got its start mailing rented DVDs and made binge-watching a household term, is now trying to upend the movie business just as it has TV, proving you don’t need to go to a theatre for the latest epic film.

Bright is the company’s first attempt at a big-budget Hollywood production, bringing together a bona fide movie star in a fantasy, buddy-cop tale that could have come from any studio playbook. Directed by David Ayer, who also made Suicide Squad, it’s a warning shot to studios and theatre owners that Netflix is targeting a big chunk of the $38.6-billion (U.S.) global box office. To underscore the commitment, the company has already ordered a sequel, with Will Smith signed on.

“It is exciting to be on the front lines with a place that feels like the future,” Bryan Unkeless, one of the film’s producers, said at Netflix’s Hollywood offices, where the company has test “living rooms” to see how its projects look at home. “The lobby feels like the central nervous system of the industry right now.”

In the last five years, Netflix has transformed itself from a library of reruns into one of the largest producers of entertainment. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company will spend as much as $8 billion on programming next year — with more than a fourth going for original scripted series, standup specials, anime projects and feature films.

It’s done so by hiring some of Hollywood’s top writers, including Jenji Kohan, creator of Orange Is the New Black, and more recently Shonda Rhimes. The approach has worked critically and commercially. Netflix earned the second-most Emmy awards of any TV network this year and has added more than 15 million customers this year through September, helping to send the stock up 51 per cent.

Movies are the next frontier. The company will release more than 80 films in 2018, building on the 50 or so released this year. Most are inexpensive dramas and comedies. But a handful, like the $90-million Bright, are movies typically released by a major studio.

To develop and build its movie slate, Netflix hired Scott Stuber, the producer of Ted and Central Intelligence. Stuber has relationships with everyone in the industry and now has one of its biggest chequebooks.

He’s joined a team that’s exploiting new visual and sound technology to reinvent moviemaking for the internet age.

On a balmy December evening in Hollywood, tour guides led a small crowd from Netflix’s new 20,000-square-foot sound stage to its lab on the second floor, where a colour scientist tests new cameras. To see how movies look at home, Netflix employs people who watch from couches in the dark. In one such room, senior technology specialist Richard Smith explained high dynamic range, which improves the quality of images on your TV. Netflix is now releasing the majority of its most expensive series and movies in HDR, and many new TVs include the technology.

Next, Smith showed off Dolby Atmos, the latest in sound, with clips from Mudbound, a film set in the Deep South that represents Netflix’s best chance at an Oscar this year.

“What you can do in your living room is as good as what you get in a theatre or any viewing experience,” Smith said.

Those claims enrage theatre chains, many of which refuse to screen Netflix movies. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, the largest, want the company to release movies in theatres before they appear online, giving exhibitors the exclusivity they enjoy with major Hollywood studios.

But that resistance reflects a business in crisis. Summer box-office receipts in North America slumped below $4 billion for the first time since 2006, and theatre owners are merging to fight the downturn. They’re investing in new food and seating options, along with virtual-reality experiences, to set their facilities apart from home viewing.

With movie-going down, uneasy studios are once again threatening to release films in homes shortly after they leave theatres. Cinema owners have fought this effort, too, and a handful of powerful filmmakers are on their side. Quentin Tarantino and Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan have said their movies are designed to be seen on the big screen.

But many producers, even those at the highest levels, will be happy to work with Netflix, given the company’s deep pockets, approach to financing and willingness to provide creative freedom.

Netflix pays producers a premium over their cost of production in exchange for global distribution rights, ensuring a profit for the financiers. For more expensive movies, the company’s commitment includes enough money for a marketing campaign, as well as the equivalent of a performance-based incentive.

Eventually, most movies end up on television anyway. Dunkirk became available for digital rental this week, and its production studio, Warner Bros., has a deal with HBO that means it’ll probably be available on the premium channel early next year.

“More people will see Dunkirk on streaming than in theatres,” said Roy Lee, producer of The Lego Movie and Death Note.

Source: Toronto Star

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You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Headline, Industry News

Netflix dives into big-budget Hollywood moviemaking with eye on box office

The promotional campaign for Will Smith’s new movie Bright included all the trappings of a Hollywood blockbuster, from a panel at Comic-Con to a premiere where the actor’s Independence Day had opened 21 years ago.

Yet unlike other films opening during the holidays, Bright won’t be seen in theatres around the world. Starting Dec. 22, it was available on Netflix, the world’s largest online TV network. The company, which got its start mailing rented DVDs and made binge-watching a household term, is now trying to upend the movie business just as it has TV, proving you don’t need to go to a theatre for the latest epic film.

Bright is the company’s first attempt at a big-budget Hollywood production, bringing together a bona fide movie star in a fantasy, buddy-cop tale that could have come from any studio playbook. Directed by David Ayer, who also made Suicide Squad, it’s a warning shot to studios and theatre owners that Netflix is targeting a big chunk of the $38.6-billion (U.S.) global box office. To underscore the commitment, the company has already ordered a sequel, with Will Smith signed on.

“It is exciting to be on the front lines with a place that feels like the future,” Bryan Unkeless, one of the film’s producers, said at Netflix’s Hollywood offices, where the company has test “living rooms” to see how its projects look at home. “The lobby feels like the central nervous system of the industry right now.”

In the last five years, Netflix has transformed itself from a library of reruns into one of the largest producers of entertainment. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company will spend as much as $8 billion on programming next year — with more than a fourth going for original scripted series, standup specials, anime projects and feature films.

It’s done so by hiring some of Hollywood’s top writers, including Jenji Kohan, creator of Orange Is the New Black, and more recently Shonda Rhimes. The approach has worked critically and commercially. Netflix earned the second-most Emmy awards of any TV network this year and has added more than 15 million customers this year through September, helping to send the stock up 51 per cent.

Movies are the next frontier. The company will release more than 80 films in 2018, building on the 50 or so released this year. Most are inexpensive dramas and comedies. But a handful, like the $90-million Bright, are movies typically released by a major studio.

To develop and build its movie slate, Netflix hired Scott Stuber, the producer of Ted and Central Intelligence. Stuber has relationships with everyone in the industry and now has one of its biggest chequebooks.

He’s joined a team that’s exploiting new visual and sound technology to reinvent moviemaking for the internet age.

On a balmy December evening in Hollywood, tour guides led a small crowd from Netflix’s new 20,000-square-foot sound stage to its lab on the second floor, where a colour scientist tests new cameras. To see how movies look at home, Netflix employs people who watch from couches in the dark. In one such room, senior technology specialist Richard Smith explained high dynamic range, which improves the quality of images on your TV. Netflix is now releasing the majority of its most expensive series and movies in HDR, and many new TVs include the technology.

Next, Smith showed off Dolby Atmos, the latest in sound, with clips from Mudbound, a film set in the Deep South that represents Netflix’s best chance at an Oscar this year.

“What you can do in your living room is as good as what you get in a theatre or any viewing experience,” Smith said.

Those claims enrage theatre chains, many of which refuse to screen Netflix movies. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, the largest, want the company to release movies in theatres before they appear online, giving exhibitors the exclusivity they enjoy with major Hollywood studios.

But that resistance reflects a business in crisis. Summer box-office receipts in North America slumped below $4 billion for the first time since 2006, and theatre owners are merging to fight the downturn. They’re investing in new food and seating options, along with virtual-reality experiences, to set their facilities apart from home viewing.

With movie-going down, uneasy studios are once again threatening to release films in homes shortly after they leave theatres. Cinema owners have fought this effort, too, and a handful of powerful filmmakers are on their side. Quentin Tarantino and Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan have said their movies are designed to be seen on the big screen.

But many producers, even those at the highest levels, will be happy to work with Netflix, given the company’s deep pockets, approach to financing and willingness to provide creative freedom.

Netflix pays producers a premium over their cost of production in exchange for global distribution rights, ensuring a profit for the financiers. For more expensive movies, the company’s commitment includes enough money for a marketing campaign, as well as the equivalent of a performance-based incentive.

Eventually, most movies end up on television anyway. Dunkirk became available for digital rental this week, and its production studio, Warner Bros., has a deal with HBO that means it’ll probably be available on the premium channel early next year.

“More people will see Dunkirk on streaming than in theatres,” said Roy Lee, producer of The Lego Movie and Death Note.

Source: Toronto Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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