Netflix has been focusing more and more thoroughly on original programming over the last couple of years. While those original dramas and comedies have been well-liked by subscribers, they have had one unintended consequence: Movie releases are less available than they have been in the past on the streaming service. Less money has been allocated to movies in favor of originals, and now Netflix has dropped Epix, which owns the rights to big movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Transformers: Age of Extinction, from its service. This means even fewer movies will be available moving forward.
Obviously, losing a ton of movies is going to be noticeable once the changes go into place. The deal with Epix will continue through the end of September, after which Netflix has plans to focus on original movies along with original content. In a blog post, Sarandos mentioned that movies from Adam Sandler, True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga and Sofia Coppola will all be made available, and the company also has a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday movie in the works. Originals are always welcome, of course, but once Epix is gone, a slew of bigger budget blockbusters will be gone from the streaming service, which is what some subscribers are looking for with their subscriptions.
Losing Epix may suck for some viewers, but ultimately, Sarandos says the company is hoping to make its own movies and, in lieu of that, garner better deals with companies for newer movie releases, quicker. Here’s what he had to say:
Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience for you.
So far, Netflix has come up with the aforementioned films, and has already struck some deals with Sony Pictures Animation, DreamWorks Animation and the Walt Disney Company. Next year, Netlfix will exclusively become the TV home for movies from the company, although we still have some time to wait before that happens. In the meantime, movie content is likely to be down somewhat.
Epix should be fine, however. Deadline is reporting that Epix is hoping to contract out with Hulu as soon as the deal with Netflix expires. Plus, if you have Time Warner cable, the subscription cable channel is available as an add-on for $4.99 a month.
What Netflix is doing right now is a big gamble. While many of the originals have been well-received, not everyone has been happy about the second release programs and movies that have been lost as Netflix has become more known for originals. In addition, it’s too soon to tell if the Netflix original movies will be good enough to compete with a lot of the movies we see in theaters and on channels like HBO, which have long delved into critically-acclaimed TV movies.
If you’d like to see what TV has coming up over the next few months, take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule.