Netflix is going big and going hard. Already one of the most prolific producers of new content out there, it is stepping up its game to propel itself to the top producer of content in the world. Kira Goldberg and Ori Marmur have been promoted internally with a remit to lead teams devoted entirely to developing and producing big-budget and four-quadrant movies.
Four quadrant movies are the holy grail of Hollywood. These are movies that appeal to all four major demographic “quadrants” of the movie-going audience: both male and female, and both over 25s and under-25s. Big rewards sit behind such movies.
Movies are generally aimed at two quadrants, and the budget is set depending on which quadrants they are expected to reach. A major tentpole release or summer blockbuster needs to be knocking on the door of four quadrants. A movie that only hits one will either be low budget or struggle to get funded. Netflix wants four.
Big-budget movies that hit all four quadrants in recent memory included Titanic and Avengers: Infinity War. The traditional playbook for these movies is to go “High Concept” and include both adult and child protagonists. Have clear villains and direct action.
Seems easy, but if it wasn’t, then everyone would have a smash hit every time.
This new at Netflix will be separate from the current team led by Tendo Nagenda which is tasked with making commercial content. Netflix wants to increase the number of wide-appealing major blockbusters they release, they also need to make their content more widely appealing. They have suffered from a recent drop in subscriber growth rates and increased competition.
Legacy Hollywood studios produce between 12-20 movies annually, whereas Netflix will release more than 70 films in 2021 – more than once a week. Quantity is fine, but when upstart streamers like HBO Max and Disney+ can but out Marvel, Star Wars and DC content at will, Netflix sometimes struggles with a perception of quality.
Netflix are already pushing hard with Western The Harder They Fall, the Chris Hemsworth sci-fi thriller Escape from Spiderhead, the Knives Out sequels and the Ryan Gosling/Chris Evans led The Gray Man, there is a lot coming down the pipe.
The streamer’s costliest production to date is Red Notice, starring some of the biggest movie stars on the planet. This could well be the blueprint going forward for Netflix.