Paramount has just signed a landmark, multi-picture deal with Netflix to produces movies exclusively for the streaming service. It's a streaming world, Hollywood studios just live in it. As such, Paramount is doing what they can to make sure they don't get left in the dust. While it's not yet clear how many movies this will include or just how far the deal extends, this is an unprecedented move.
Amazon recently signed a deal with indie horror hit makers Blumhouse, while A24, also known for making hit indies such as Hereditary and Moonlight, just signed a deal with Apple to produce content. But Paramount is one of the major studios, alongside Disney, Sony, Warner Bros. Fox and Universal. The news was announced during a recent earnings call by studio head Jim Gianopulos. Here's what he had to say about it.
"Our priority is to expand our role as a major global content supplier. As such, we're exploring various new revenue streams in addition to our traditional theatrical releases as a producer of first-run films and television for other media platforms."
Netflix and Paramount have worked together in the past and the results have been fruitful. Paramount produces the shows Maniac and 13 Reasons Why, both of which have been huge hits for the streaming service. Most notably, The Cloverfield Paradox was sold (some would say dumped) to Netflix just two months ahead of its planned theatrical rollout earlier this year, with the streaming service running a Super Bowl ad and surprise releasing the title after the big game.
This also means that Netflix could have access to some of the studio's major franchises. This includes Transformers, future Cloverfield titles and other Hasbro properties like Dungeons and Dragons and G.I. Joe. And really, streaming is where the money is being spent. Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Hulu will spend a combined $20 billion on content in 2018, with Netflix leading the pack. Jim Gianopulos had this to add.
"While they have increased their internal capabilities, they are looking for great properties and we have great IP, great development and great creative relationships and potential to develop for them. In some ways, it's just an evolution from the days when studios were making MOWs [movies of the week] for the networks," Gianopulos continued. "The difference, of course, is that the quality of some of these films is much higher, making these relationships even more valuable. And it plays to the strength of a large, well-established studio like Paramount."
Paramount has finished dead last at the domestic box office behind the other major studio in Hollywood in recent years and that doesn't look to change in the immediate future. This is a way for them to look to the future while not leaving the past behind entirely. Jim Gianopulos mentioned that this deal will only extended to a "small number of titles" and they will produce something for Netflix "when it makes sense." Currently, no specific projects have been announced, but this is a potential game changer. This news was previously reported by Deadline.