If one looks a little more carefully at Netflix’s strategy lately to stay competitive in the new streaming wars, one can see a lot of smart moves and maybe others overly obvious. Their smartest chess play was to acquire several Oscar-caliber movies for the months of November and December this year to counteract against the arrivals of Apple TV+ and Disney+.
Netflix has had a lot of other strategies in place as well to maintain their reputation and retain their loyal customer base. While part of this involves continually finding and refining original programming, they’re also delving into leasing old movie theaters.
Well, they have two historic ones on their agenda anyway. They’ve already booked one in NYC, and possibly soon buying another in L.A. to ensure future award clout.
The co-strategy with landing ‘The Irishman’ and ‘Marriage Story’
These above-mentioned movies are expected to be leading Oscar contenders and began streaming on Netflix in November and early December. A big problem involved with Netflix distributing the films is that they both had limited releases in theaters, which could technically ruin their chances for Oscar contention.
Nobody really believes this will happen, yet it’s happened before when you include the much-renowned Roma missing out on Best Picture, perhaps because it rolled out on Netflix first.
To amend this situation, Netflix recently leased out a classic old movie theater in New York City. Those who’ve spent time in the Big Apple may be familiar with the Paris Theatre, built in 1948. As a single-screen theater, it’s screened many a classic over the years and still well-known for having premieres.
With so many of these small theaters starting to disappear in NYC, Netflix jumped at the chance to lease it out temporarily to screen Marriage Story. Doing so may enhance the chances of latter film being one of the major Best Picture candidates for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
Netflix will soon take this to the West Coast
Reports are Netflix is also looking to buy the famous Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles soon. This probably won’t happen for a while, yet the negotiations are still underway, with most of the details being kept private.
Some in the Hollywood community are a bit perplexed why the negotiations are under wraps, especially since the theater is an important part of Hollywood history. Numerous famous movie premieres took place there going back to the year it opened in 1922. After several owners, it’s been back in operation and used sometimes to screen old classics for locals.
From Netflix’s perspective, owning the Egyptian is a key strategic move in having a theater they can use to screen top Oscar contenders so at least some of the public can see them on the big screen. More than a few top movies deserve to be seen in a theater rather than streaming on a 4K TV at home.
While there’s a lot of diverging philosophies on what makes for a great theatrical experience, owning the Egyptian would place Netflix squarely into the movie business and promote the idea of seeing a movie in a theater when it’s a must.
Netflix is also doing early investments in its content
Back in April, CNN reported Netflix is spending a lot on developing new content as well, something that could technically lead to trouble if those shows and movies don’t pay off. However, with their solid history in finding streaming hits, there probably aren’t a lot of worries. Plus, they intend to start generating more internal cash through the company to use for investing in further new content.
All of this, plus the theater strategy, are all carefully thought out moves no doubt keeping Netflix in the Top Three into the 2020s. Even if Disney+ ends up matching Netflix in another year or two, both can co-exist. Combining them gives a streaming fan virtually everything they’d ever want in originals and classics.
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