Netflix content chief Bela Bajaria says the streamer won’t expand its theatrical release plans anytime soon.
Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the land. Available in most households across the country, the platform has increased its film output significantly enough to compete with other major Hollywood studios. While Netflix may compete with the content itself, there’s one area it still doesn’t want to try competing. According to one Netflix exec, the streamer won’t be increasing its theatrical footprint anytime soon, instead choosing to keep Netflix-made films on Netflix rather than releasing them through theaters.
“We’re the only real pure-play streamer and our members love films and they want to see films on Netflix,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria said earlier this month. “I think a lot of companies and business do theatrical and it’s a great business for them. It’s just not our business.”
“Our business is to make sure that members come to Netflix,” she added. “They’re in the mood for a movie and they get that movie that they want to see and that is always going to be the focus for us: Making great movies for Netflix that members want to see.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean Netflix films won’t end up appearing in theaters, especially considering it’s a requirement for the Oscars. Netflix also does happen to have some cinemas amongst its property portfolio as well, including Hollywood’s iconic Egyptian Theatre.
“The Egyptian Theatre is an incredible part of Hollywood history and has been treasured by the Los Angeles film community for nearly a century,” Netflix Films head Scott Stuber said when they first acquired the venue in 2020. “We look forward to expanding programming at the theater in ways that will benefit both cinema lovers and the community.”
Stuber has since announced his departure from Netflix, with Bajaria set to name his successor in the coming weeks.
“What Scott has accomplished in seven years is nothing short of amazing,” Bajaria said regarding Stuber’s departure. “He created a world-class film studio, not only by working with established filmmakers, but also finding and supporting first time creators. I hope to find new ways to continue to work together.”