Netflix Chief: There Will Never Be Another $1 Billion Movie

Netflix rarely releases viewing data, but its four-film partnership with Adam Sandler has apparently been beneficial for both parties. The streaming service claims “users have spent 500 million hours over 17 months” watching Sandler’s films, including The Ridiculous 6 and Sandy Wexler, and Sandler is making four more movies for Netflix. He’s not the only big star to skip a theatrical release, either: there’s Brad Pitt in War Machine; Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Okja; and Will Smith’s “Orc cop” thriller Bright.

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos thinks the moviegoing experience as we know it — having to find a babysitter, eat stale popcorn, endure 12 trailers, and sit in a dark room with complete strangers who are talking the entire times — is increasingly a thing of the past. So much so that we may have seen the last film to ever gross one billion dollars at the box office.

“I think that what you’ll find is that subscription is a better way to monetize most movies,” Sarandos told The Wrap. “Not all movies but most movies. So Beauty and the Beast may be the last billion-dollar movie ever. It’s possible.” When the reporter brought up The Last Jedi, which is expected to make all the money when it comes out in December, he replied, “It may be. It might be. I’m just saying it’s going to be pretty rare.” To date, 30 movies have crossed the billion-dollar barrier, including Avatar (#1 all-time) and The Dark Knight (#30). The feat was most recently accomplished by Beauty and the Beast… and The Fate of the Furious, which already somewhat invalidates Sarandos’ point.

It’s also giving Netflix a ton of credit. After all, people still enjoy going to the movie theater for a big-screen blockbuster experience. But “if AMC and Regal would book the movies day-and-date,” Sarandos explained, “I’m not against it… If you really believe people would abandon movie theaters if day-and-date releasing was going on, that doesn’t say much for that industry.”

The world needs movie theaters. Where else would we go to get ourself a treat?

(Via The Wrap)