“They range anywhere from the million-dollar Sundance hit, all the way up to something on a much larger scale,” chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in an investors interview on Monday, during which he also announced the uptick in spending. CFO David Wells noted that the inflated budget was not tied to the company’s recent price increases in several markets and that the decision had been planned for a long time.
“We just have to focus on creating content that our members can’t live without… Whether or not one of our partners decides to produce for us or compete with us, that’s really a choice that they have to make based on their own business.”
Streaming company Netflix will spend somewhere between $7 billion and $8 billion on original content in 2018.
After the money spent and gained on award-winning movies like Beasts of No Nation (2015), Oscar-nominated Ava DuVernay doc 13th (2016), and Cannes-praised action adventure flick Okja (2017), among others, and the mass appeal of original series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black back in 2013, Netflix has become a leading competitor within the TV landscape, rolling out new shows at an increasingly breakneck pace.
Now, it seems they’re planning on doing the same thing in the movie industry. Already on the docket are high-profile features like Will Smith-fronted Bright — which has a reported production price tag of $90 million — and Martin Scorsese gangster movie The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro, which has a $46 million budget.
As reported by Variety, Netflix expects to release around 80 original films next year.