To turn the narrative back in its favor, analysts have suggested adding ads and clamping down on password sharing. But one way Netflix can help itself is by allying with an industry that it once was at odds with: movie theaters.
Even though Netflix has released many films in theaters — and has even bought a few theaters to boot — most of its theater releases have been purposefully limited. With the streamer licking its wounds and theaters slowly bouncing back from the pandemic, now could be time for both sides to finally come together.
By releasing more films in theaters Netflix (NFLX) could bring in new revenue from box-office sales, expand its brand to more potential subscribers and help make its films more memorable — something the company has struggled to do.
Despite being the leader in streaming with 221 million global subscribers, winning multiple Oscars and working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, Netflix hasn’t seen many of its films become beloved brands in the way that some of its series have, such “Stranger Things,” whose new season premieres later this month.
Take “Red Notice,” for example. The film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Gal Gadot was Netflix’s most-watched movie ever, according to the company, but arguably failed to make any sort of blip in pop culture.
“It still basically remains impossible to build a major movie franchise without theatrical releases,” Andrew Hare, a senior vice president of research at Magid, told CNN Business.
Hare added that as the company expands its offerings, “a number of titles could likely require theatrical.”
“Not only for award season, but for the buzz required to be a major player at a hybrid moment in a time that remains one foot in physical and one foot in digital,” he said.
Playing nice with Netflix would be a good idea for theaters…
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