Netflix Will Reportedly Release 90 (!) Original Movies in 2019
According to the advanced technology sitting on my desk here, known to some as a “calendar,” there are 52 weeks in a year. Using the knowledge of mathematics imparted to me by my college degree in television, radio, film, I see that if you released a movie every single week of the year that would be ... 52 movies. That would be a lot — no major Hollywood studio releases that many films in a year — but apparently Netflix will be going way over that number in 2019.
According to a recent feature in The New York Times, Netflix will nearly double that one-movie-a-week figure very soon. Netflix’s chief of original movies, Scott Stuber ...
...is set up to supply 55 original films a year, including some with budgets as high as $200 million. Add in documentaries and animated movies, handled by other divisions, and the number of annual Netflix film releases climbs to about 90. To compare, Universal, one of Hollywood’s most prolific traditional studios, releases roughly 30 movies a year.
That’s wonderful news for Netflix subscribers — that means there will be fresh content to watch almost every single week of the year (or really multiple pieces of fresh content every single week of the year). It’s also good news for filmmakers, since they’re the ones getting paid to produce all those movies. And it certainly helps Netflix claim more and more of a foothold in Hollywood.
I do wonder, though, just how good this news is for the movies themselves. Yes, they get made. Yes, people can see them if they are Netflix subscribers and they pay very close attention to the website. But it’s increasingly hard to keep up with everything Netflix is doing. And, sure, not every original is meant for the same audience; they don’t expect all their users to watch all 90 of these movies. They’re trying to cover all their bases, and on that count they seem to be succeeding.
When there are so many titles, though, it’s very easy for stuff to fall through the cracks. Personally speaking, I still haven’t watched the new Mystery Science Theaters — and that’s one of my favorite shows ever — and I’ve just barely caught up with the bigger movies Netflix has released in the last couple of months like Roma and Private Life.
Again, there’s some good that comes from quantity, and Netflix’s selection of original movies has improved greatly in just the last 12 months. But I do worry that a certain point Netflix’s business model will finally settle the famous old question about the tree falling in the woods.
Gallery — The Best Netflix Original Films & Shows (Until They Make 90 More):