Netflix Continues Quest for World Domination, Plans to Release 90 Movies in 2019

Netflix is an unstoppable machine, churning out more original programming by the minute. As we head into 2019, the streaming service has an ambitious plan: to release at least 90 movies. For reference, most traditional movie studios release around 30 movies a year – but Netflix wants to outpace that. And they probably will, too. Get ready for close to 100 Netflix movies in 2019.

The New York Times has a new profile on Netflix, in which Scott Stuber, Netflix’s movie chief, reveals ambitious plans for 2019:

Mr. Stuber’s operation 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.

This is nothing to sneer at. While Netflix’s original films were met with scorn at places like Cannes at one point, they’ve quickly gone on to release films that end up on Best of the Year lists. Take Roma, for example. The Alfonso Cuarón drama doesn’t seem like anyone’s typical idea of a “Netflix film” and yet Netflix is the studio that released it. The movie sits at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is already considered a major Oscar contender. That’s a far cry from Netflix’s much-maligned original Bright, starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton.

Still, releasing so many movies in one year is bound to lead to some duds – no one produces nothing but hits. But Netflix realizes that. “We’re trying to build a new studio that is exciting for artists,” Stuber says. “As we do that, it’s important to be open to criticism. When a great artist says, ‘Hey, this doesn’t work,’ then we’d better try to fix it. For some of our filmmakers, that means having a theatrical release and contending for awards.”

One of the most controversial elements of Netflix’s distribution model is their apparent disdain for theatrical releases. Traditionalists have criticized the streaming service for this, insisting a theatrical experience is key. But Netflix doesn’t see it that way. “In a world where consumer choice is driving everything — how we shop, how we order groceries, how we are entertained — we’re trying to get to a place where consumers have theatrical viewing as a choice,” Stuber tells the New York Times. “But we also think it is critical that, if you don’t have the means or the access or the time to go to a theater, you are still able to see movies without a long wait.”

In 2019, Netflix will be releasing new films from impressive names like Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh and many more. It’s time to face facts: it’s Netflix’s world now, and we’re all just streaming in it.

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