Two film entertainment bigwigs, Amblin, led by Steven Spielberg, and Netflix, have signed a deal that will allow the former to produce and release multiple films for Netflix every year. This partnership reflects Netflix’s exponential rise in the film industry and its acceptance among renowned directors, such as Spielberg. It also shows a change in the industry; an age when home viewing gradually renders movie theaters obsolete.
In a press release posted on 21 June 2021, Spielberg’s global film and TV studio and Netflix expressed their enthusiasm and support for the partnership. Although the article didn’t reveal many details about the deal, it quoted the leaders of both parties.
“Steven is a leader and visionary with great creativity. His compelling stories and characters have inspired many people around the world, including myself. Netflix is happy to partner with Amblin, and we’re zealous to come together with their (Amblin’s) team. Our staff is thrilled and happy to be part of this memorable and historical chapter of Steven Spielberg’s cinematic experience,” commented Ted Sarandos, Netflix Co-CEO, and Executive Content Officer.
Spielberg, who was reportedly opposed to Netflix’s inclusion in the 2019’s Academy Awards, also had something positive to say about the partnership: “From the first moment Ted and I sat down to discuss this agreement, we knew that we had a great opportunity to tell our stories together in a different way. Netflix provides a new platform for our films. Combine that with the stories we continue to tell with our long-term friends at Universal and other companies, this partnership provides me with a fulfilling experience of working with Ted, Scott, and their team at Netflix.”
The deal represents a significant win for Netflix, which will get a consistent stream of Amblin features, although it doesn’t guarantee productions by Spielberg Pictures. At the same time, Amblin will carry on working on films with Universal, a move meant to preserve and protect the traditional theatrical experience. While Amblin has worked with Netflix to distribute its movies and shows on various streaming platforms, this agreement is the most significant they’ve signed thus far.
According to Scott Stuber, Netflix Chief of Global Films, “Amblin and Steven and great entertainment are one thing. You can’t separate them. Their enthusiasm and creativity enable to create films that entertain and challenge viewers. We can’t wait to start working with Steven, Jeff, and the entire Amblin fraternity on a new chapter of film production that will captivate audiences for generations to come.”
The partnership comes when Amblin has solidified its niche in the film and TV industry by releasing movies that have bagged coveted awards. For instance, the Green Book won the Best Oscar Picture, while 1917 took three Oscar awards, two Golden Globes and accrued over $385 million in the global box office. Nonetheless, Amblin and Netflix had previously partnered to create The Trail of the Chicago 7, nominated to the Academy Awards.
The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 might have suggested to Steven Spielberg that movie-streaming platforms are not going away soon. However, it is the future of the film industry and provides many business opportunities for Amblin. Today, the theatrical experience is a super spreader of COVID-19, and consumers are happy to watch movies at home and pay a “premier” for that. That said, Amblin’s deal with Netflix is perhaps the best move for the company.