- Data shows that 46% of Netflix’s movie commissions this year are remakes, sequels, spin-offs, or adaptations.
- Netflix’s franchise push comes at a time when other streamers are leaning hard into bankable IP.
- The company’s franchises will also be essential for its plan to offer video games on its service.
wants to give traditional Hollywood studios a run for their money when it comes to franchises.
The streaming giant is looking to build hit franchises and it’s increasingly ordering movies based on existing IP. 46% of the original-film commissions Netflix has made this year are remakes, sequels, spin-offs, or adaptations, according to the research firm Ampere Analysis.
Netflix has already implemented this strategy with its original TV shows, evidenced by the (canceled) comic-book series “Jupiter’s Legacy,” as well as “Shadow and Bone” and “The Witcher,” both based on fantasy novels.
Last year, the company introduced two new TV teams to help with this goal: the events/spectacle team led by the head of US originals Peter Friedlander and the franchise team led by the head of international originals Kelly Luegenbiehl.
Now, Netflix is ramping up the strategy on the movie front, and it has already made some progress.
It’s building a universe out of Zack Snyder’s zombie film “Army of the Dead,” which the company said on Tuesday in its Q2 earnings report was watched (for at least two minutes) by 75 million households in its first month. A prequel film, “Army of Thieves,” debuts later this year.
Netflix also recently bought the rights to two “Knives Out” sequels. The first movie, directed by Rian Johnson and released by Lionsgate in 2019, was a surprise box-office hit, grossing $311 million worldwide off of a $40 million budget. Multiple outlets, including Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, reported that Netflix paid more than $400 million for the rights.
But Netflix still has a long way to go, and its global presence could be essential, according to Ampere Analysis.
“Netflix can now lay claim to true studio status in terms of the global production infrastructure it has established in recent years, but it is still chasing franchise success when it comes to movies,” said Alice Thorpe, an Ampere Analysis analyst. “What’s clear from its recent commissioning is that the platform is not just relying on sequels to the likes of comic book adaptation ‘The Old Guard’ to make that happen; building local franchises with crossover appeal in multiple territories is also key to its strategy.”
Netflix’s franchise movie push comes at a time when other streamers are zeroing in on bankable IP. Amazon has had luck with recent hits like “The Tomorrow War,” based on a sci-fi novel, with a sequel in the works. Amazon also recently bought the film studio MGM, which releases the James Bond movies.
Disney and WarnerMedia are leveraging their own franchises — like “Star Wars” and DC — to boost their streaming services, Disney+ and
Netflix’s franchise strategy is also reflected in its plans to offer mobile video games on its service. During the company’s earnings call on Tuesday, its operating and product chief, Greg Peters, said that Netflix’s IP will be integral to its game offerings.
“We are in the business of making these amazing worlds, great storylines, and incredible characters, and we know that the fans of those stories want to go deeper,” Peters said. “They want to engage further and they actually want to direct a little bit where their energy goes. What’s great about interactive is that our universes provide a significant amount of time people can engage and explore.”