We can never be thankful to Netflix (and likewise others) for providing us with some great movies, TV series and documentaries. Now, we have entertainment and movies some clicks away and we don’t need to rush a cinema hall to find entertainment.
In 2019 Netflix alone released 371 movies and TV series (it was 240 in the previous year, a 54% increase). The total output of Netflix for 2019 is greater than the entire US TV industry in 2005. But yet, Netflix is finding it difficult to enjoy full Oscar opportunity. Why?
The issue got into limelight when Netflix’s original movie Roma grabbed 3 Oscar awards. This might be a piece of happy news for many, but for some, this was a matter of debate.
Renowned American filmmaker Steven Spielberg expressed his concerns and he’s against Netflix entering into the world of Oscar awards. He has argued that movies coming from streaming services which will be watched on TV should not be considered for inclusion based on token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week.
He strongly feels that streaming services shouldn’t be eligible at big awards because regardless of length and storytelling, they are prominently intended for the home viewing platforms. Steven has also expressed his concerns about streaming services taking over theatre culture.
To be on Oscar nomination, a movie needs to run at least 7 days in LA theatre. That’s rule number 2 for 92nd Academy Awards in 2020 and he (Steven) highly recommends that this rule shouldn’t be changed at least for this year.
Netflix released The Irishman and planned to have a theatrical run. To save from rule number 2, Netflix is in talks with theatres to offer them a run of as much as 72 days on more than 110 screens. Not only this, Netflix is in talks to acquire a cinema hall of its own, The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
Game changer for Netflix has been American film producer Scott Stuber who joined the OTT in 2017. Before Stuber, Netflix had only released a couple of dozen original movies like a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon & The Ridiculous 6. Most of the times the company had to go ahead with projects that had been dropped by other studios.
Stuber’s initial role as an executive and then he became producer there and in 2 ½ years of time, he turned around the business for Netflix. With Stuber and Ted Sarandos (Chief Content Officer), the OTT platform plans to release 50-60 movies a year.
Netflix has given hits like Bird Box & Murder Mystery that had more than 70 million views while Triple Frontier & The Highwaymen had around 40 million views. Netflix has 2 of the 5 movies to grab the award according to Gold Derby (a site devoted to predicting entertainment award) The Irishman which will be competing against hits like Parasite, 1917, Once Upon a Time .. in Hollywood and others.
While Netflix has won hearts from all around the world, it still needs to create its identity in the Oscars and tell the world that they (among all OTT service providers) have bridged the gap between viewers and their choice of stories. And for this reason, they shouldn’t be kept away from Oscars nominations.
However, there will be appreciators and there will be critics for everything and for Netflix, there are more appreciators and fewer critics. People who have been shaken hard from the ground by Netflix and others are the ones who are not welcoming them to big award shows as well as theatre owners.
But this streaming service has gained momentum globally and it doesn’t seem to stop from grown day by day. In short-run, Netflix might not be able to enjoy Oscars but the future of Netflix seems to be bright and we are pretty sure that Netflix will definitely back themselves with Oscars for various genres.