From Adam Sandler deals to Bright and Mowgli, Netflix’s long-term game plan to dominate Hollywood with its original movies is a long time coming.
It may be hard to believe, but it’s only been four years since streaming service giants Netflix got into the business of producing original movies. After earning a name providing easy access to audiences’ favorite films and television shows, Netflix got into the business of producing original content. Its roster of television shows has proven wildly popular and critically ground-breaking, while a steady stream of stand-up specials has helped to revolutionize comedy for the mainstream, making it more accessible than ever. Yet the golden heights of old-school Hollywood movie power have mostly eluded the streaming giant. Netflix's documentaries have been critical successes, picking up a few Oscars along the way, but it’s been tough to shake the feeling that Netflix's original comedies and dramas have the distinct air of second-rate cast-offs. Even the good stuff has been stuck with that unfair label.
Even so, change is on the horizon, and it’s tough to ignore how, with each major announcement or acquisition, Netflix’s dream of keeping up with the traditional studio system is slowly coming to fruition. As its catalog of original films builds, helping the service towards an ultimate game plan of having 50% original content, audiences and critics are becoming more intrigued with their offerings. After much doubt and disdain, it seems like Netflix’s long-term plotting for Hollywood domination is closer than ever. Yet from the beginning of its original movies slate, the streaming service has been breaking down doors and demanding change, even in the most unlikely places. With that in mind, here are the eight Netflix original films that helped change the game.
- This Page: Adam Sandler
- Page 2: Awards Contenders
- Page 3: High Profile Releases
- Page 4: The Future of Cinema
The Ridiculous 6
The mega-deal Adam Sandler secured with Netflix has always been a topic of much derision and cynicism. In recent years, Sandler hasn’t been a critical darling and studios were finding it tough to justify the enormous cost of his productions. Yet audiences have largely remained loyal to Sandler and turned to his old films on Netflix for good old-fashioned comfort viewing. That’s what inspired Netflix to offer Sandler so much money.
The Ridiculous 6 was panned by most critics, who considered it unwatchable even by latter-era Adam Sandler standards. Yet, according to Netflix, it was viewed more times in 30 days than any other movie in Netflix history. As of April 2017, reports suggest Sandler's work has been viewed over half a billion times on Netflix. He's since released three films as part of the same distribution deals. The Sandler deal brought big stars to Netflix and offered the perfect partnership of creator and audience. It may not have been prestigious but it worked.