Netflix Producing More Original Content, Angering Theaters

Cord-cutting is working. Online “networks” are more popular than ever and there’s been a big push for original content from several services. While services as small-time as Crackle are even pumping out their own programming, it’s the big three – Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime – who are leading the charge and Netflix in particular has been announcing some pretty serious content.

Last year saw the arrival of Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and Hemlock Grove. A few days ago it was announced that Netflix will fund a sequel to 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and that the film will hit Instant Watch the same day it hits theaters. The move has ruffled some feathers and some big theater chains – Regal and AMC among them – are refusing the play the movie. So what does Netflix do? They start cutting the theaters out of their movie deals.

Netflix has inked a four picture deal with Adam Sandler, whose movies apparently dominate the service’s streaming statistics. It’s no secret that Sandler is a huge box office draw, but so far news of this deal hasn’t mentioned the box office at all. As mentioned above, several theaters aren’t happy with the idea of sharing movie releases with Netflix’s streaming service, so it looks like Netflix might just be cutting them out of the Sandler deal entirely. A tweet from the company did say “exclusively on Netflix,” so we’ll see if that exclusivity applies to theaters or just other streaming services. The first movie could hit the service as early as 2015.


Then there’s a King Kong cartoon being made specifically for Netflix that’s set to debut in 2016. It sounds like small potatoes compared to the Sandler deal, until you realize that it’s set in 2050 and King Kong defends the humans against an army of robot dinosaurs. It looks like my 2016 just got booked up.

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