Netflix has already become a destination for people looking for solid original movies. However, with the number of films Netflix is planning to release next year, you may never make it back to a theater. Netflix is releasing eight movies during this calendar quarter, but for 2018 the company plans to increase that number by a factor of 10 over the course of the year, with 80 total projects.
If Netflix were to continue to produce eight movies per quarter, the streaming service would be looking at a yearly output of around 24 films, which is already a significant number. Most theatrical distributors don't approach that number in a year. But during a video conference Q&A to discuss the company's quarterly numbers (via Deadline) Netflix head of content Ted Sarandos revealed that the goal for 2018 is 80 films. That's one every four or five days.
According to Ted Sarandos, the budgets of the films will run the gamut from the "million dollar Sundance hit" to larger pictures like the urban fantasy movie Bright, starring Will Smith, which will hit the service in December, or The Irishman, the Robert De Niro starring film that is currently in production.
Needless to say, 80 movies in a year is a massive undertaking. Movie studios used to produce that many movies in a year when they were silent and were a fraction of a feature film runtime. The money side of the equation shouldn't be too much of a problem for Netflix. Along with this announcement the company also revealed significant financial gains in the third quarter of the year and a 49% increase in global subscribers year-over-year. With that many people logging on, Netflix clearly wants to be sure they have something to watch.
Of course, from what was said, it's clear that not every movie Netflix is looking to make is going to be on par with theatrical releases, though with projects like Bright and The Irishman in the pipeline, it is clear that at least some of them will be. Even if only 10-15 of the movies are at that level, something on par with what major distributors do, that's still going to put Netflix in the same company as Universal, Paramount, and Disney.
With names like Will Smith and Robert De Niro already making movies for Netflix, it seems like the company won't have problems drawing top talent to these projects. David Fincher recently completed the series Mindhunter for the service and had very good things to say about Netflix compared to the rest of the industry, specifically Marvel. If we're not already thinking about Netflix as a producer of top-tier movies, there's a good chance that by the end of 2018 we will be.