Netflix Movie Fans

I can't take it anymore. The current online selection is worst than my dad's collection in VHS. Check the New Releases:

- First of all, 75% ARE TV SHOWS !!!

- True Grit, The Fighter and Biutiful, three great films... but released two years ago!

- Limitless, The Lincoln Lawyer and No Strings Attached, three of the worst films of 2011.

- Senna and Elite Squad 2, the ONLY two interesting films...

Now let's go to iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc, all of them with movies to STREAM. They have better films, newer films, most of the 2011 Oscar nominated, etc.

So, obviously, Netflix has an issue with the distribution rights, the best films only on DVD, and for streaming, old stuff. They PROMISED that they would have a better selection, up-to-date, signing lots of new deals and contracts with the studios... what happened?

I called Customer Service a couple of times, they AGREED they have to improve the selection, and told me they would call me back with a response from an executive... HAHAHAHAH... Call me back? HAHAHAHAHA

So, why I don't cancel? I don't know, I guess I'm masochist.

Tags: online, selection, streaming

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They all came back.

First, True Grit, Fighter and Biutiful were all released in Nov/Dec of 2010, so they are only 1 year 3 months old.  Not as old as you are implying. 

The Lincoln Lawyer was not one of the worst films of 2011, it was fairly decent. 

The issue is not Netflix's to figure out.  The studios are still trying to figure out what they feel is fair pricing for their content and how it will effect their profits.  The three studios to really watch are Warner, which is really fighting against the move to digital content and other forms of rental services, and on the opposite end is Paramount and Lionsgate who are much more forward thinking and are much more willing to put their films out there for people to see in hopes of reaping profit that way.

The economics of the studios have changed greatly in the last few years.  As an agent at a smaller agency I see it first hand.  Studios are only making films with budgets of 20-75 mil.  All the big budget films that are coming out right now were all approved under the old regimes.  The studios are not focusing on drama at all, only R-rated comedy and big tentpole films they can make fairly cheaply and make several sequels out of, as they can lock in actors for a few films cheaply and then reboot.  There may be the odd film here or there, but not unless it has several huge names.  Studios are really outsourcing most of anything else to larger producers or independent film makers.  They then will buy up the films and release them through their acquisitions departments.  Instead of doing 12-18 films a year the big studios are now doing 6-8.  They have been gunshy on the huge budget films, Lone Ranger delayed for several months over the insane budget was lowered while films such as The Dark Tower, Akira, and most films over 100 mil budgets were started, then completely cancelled. 

A great example is Ouiji, it started out as a projected 100-125 mil budget.  Universal scrapped it and got Blumhouse involved and now they are figuring to make it for 5 mil.  The reason for all of this is the success of ultra low budgets (under 500,000 to make) and modified low budgets (under 900,000 to make) such as Paranormal Activity and Devil Inside.  Studios are looking at these budgets, seeing they are of a fairly high quality of film making, and they make money much easier than the huge budget films.  If the studios can buy these films for 5 mil or so the producers make 5x the money back and the film just needs to make 10 mil for the Studio to make a profit, everything else is gravy.  Compare that to the 300+ mil that Lone Ranger is going to have to make just to break even.  Obviously the lower budget is higher yield.  This has shaken everything up, Paramount has been much more successful at identifying these low budget films that are marketable, and getting the profit.  This is why they are on the more forward thinking in terms of generating profit. 

Good stuff.

And the recent John Carter with a budget of about $200 million and has thus far only made 65 bucks at the box office.

Thanks for your insightful explanation... I think it's healthy for the industry that great films can be made with less money. There's no need to spend 150 million unless it's sci-fi/epic/war, etc.

What's the connection between this situation and the poor Netflix selection? Are you implying that studios don't want to sell the license of the expensive films for streaming because they feel they make no money out of it?

I'm still lost, there's no solid explanation on why Netflix streaming selection is horrible.

I'm still lost, there's no solid explanation on why Netflix streaming selection is horrible.

 

Solid explanations are all you have been getting.

 

ok, I will make it super simple.

The Studios (Warner, Universal, Disney, Paramount, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate, Weinstein) all want to make as much money as they can off of their movies. They set up windows so they can sell the same product several times.  First they sell it to theaters and take nearly all the opening weekend box office and increasingly smaller percentages each week after for the right to show the film.  After around 120-150 days (which was agreed upon by the theater chains and studios) the DVD/On Demand rental is released. Then after a few months of the studios accumulating cash from these sales the film is released to pay TV.  This means HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc..  These channels have deals with studios to show their films.  For example HBO gives Warner (which it is partly owned by) buckets of cash to be able to show their films for several months with no competition. After this agreed upon time is expired if it is a movie worth paying for basic cable channels will bid for them and then get exclusive rights.  So Comedy Central may be showing a film for a few months then.  Then the Networks finally get a crack at it.  They bid for the film.  They get the rights to show it for a few viewings.  Finally after all of this Netflix is finally allowed to purchase the rights to play it.

Let's use Hunger Games for example.  Hunger Games will be in the theater for 120-150 days (first run for about a month and a half or longer if it keeps making money, then second run theaters an equal amount of time).  At this point the DVD will be released (unless they hold it for the holiday season, which is possible).  After about two months Lionsgate/Summit has pay TV deals in place so whoever has that contract will get Hunger Games and be able to have exclusive rights for a few months (normally 3-4).  Then ABC Family paid millions for Lionsgate to skip the basic cable step and let them put Hunger Games on their network for the exclusive period there.  This deal again lasts a few months.  Finally Netflix will have the opportunity to bid for it.  It is a bit more complicated than this though, just basics.  In this example, Netflix has a deal with EPIX (a channel owned by Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate that Netflix signed a deal for.)  In this instance  Netflix gets any movie that is on EPIX 90 days after it first airs.  So if Lionsgate puts Hunger Games on Epix, which it can, because it owns the film, and part of the channel, Netflix gets it sooner.

Basically, "Netflix streaming selection is horrible" because there are hundreds of contracts that are legally binding between every single person in the media.  Each film has hundreds of contracts that must be met (from actors, directors, cameramen, PA's, producers all the way to each channel that it airs on)  One mistake on these contracts can kill a film/studio.  (Look at what Lord of the Rings did to New Line, over a small contract error).  These contracts need to be followed to the exact letter.  Before Netflix existed there were the contracts for everything that came before.  The only thing that will change the way these contracts are written are if Netflix overspends, which will get the studios more money.  If Netflix overspends your bill goes up.  You already complained about your bill doubling. 

Consumers want better and newer streaming choices. If what you say is true, then Netflix is toast and is not a sustainable business model. Since Netflix & Starz couldn't reach an agreement, Netflix lost Starz movies and great series like Spartacus. I'm on Netflix daily and I haven't seen any new good releases in months. The only reason I keep Netflix is because my kids watch cartoons. If it wasn't for that, I would cancel it because I've watched everything worth watching. I don't see how Netflix can survive.

There's plenty to watch, just got to be less picky. Also, u night find something new!

That's EXACTLY the problem: plenty to watch, not great quality.

I find there's plenty of quality stuff, therefore I'm happy with the selection.

If what you say is true, then Netflix is toast and is not a sustainable business model.

There are those of us who think like that and keep a keen eye on what Reed Hasting does and says (or doesn't).

It is sustainable the way they have streaming at this very second.  If they try to appease everyone and get the brand new stuff HBO has, Netflix has no chance and must charge easily triple what they do now to even think about possibly breaking even.  End of story.

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