What a difference a year makes. After Netflix held its first quarter earnings call in 2022, announcing a loss of subscribers for the first time in a decade, their stock plummeted 45% from 348 to 190. It clearly marked an end to the free spending days of Netflix and similar services. As the company looked for additional revenue streams surely they would have to turn to exhibitors and play their big budget films in movie theatres.
Over the past year that has not happened. And if the company’s Co-CEO Ted Sarandos is to be believed, it won’t happen over the next year either. During an earnings call for the first quarter of 2023, Netflix reported an increase of 1.75 million subscribers on earnings that beat Wall Street estimates. With their stock price hovering around 327 they are absolutely fine if their film productions don’t get a theatrical release.
Sarandos told financial analysts during the call, “The film division is doing great. They really are building some great films. The success at the Oscars was great. But even better than that was the movies that won so big were also very, very popular with fans. So, this is award-winning, critical acclaim and enormously popular with fans.”
“So, we’re really happy with the investment in film,” he added. “Of course, we’re trying to improve it, like we do with all of our films. Driving folks to a theater is just not our business. We create that demand, we collect that demand on our subscription service with our members and I think having big new desirable content, including feature films in the first window, drives value for our members and drives value to the business. So, no major changes in play except for trying to continue to improve the films for our members and make a big splash with films that are loved and watched.”