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As Netflix experiences a loss in subscribers, it is changing the direction of its feature films and may no longer greenlight expensive "vanity projects" such as Martin Scorsese's 2019 epic drama The Irishman, which costs a whopping $175 million USD.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service aims to make "bigger" and "better" movies that will not be released consecutively. Sources claim that Netflix's version of "bigger" does not necessarily entail a bigger financial budget; the streamer may, for example, create one film for $20 million USD rather than two movies for $10 million USD. “The goal will be to make the best version of something instead of cheapening out for the sake of quantity,” an insider shared. “This tendency to do anything to attract talent and giving them carte blanche is going away,” another added.
During the company's recent earnings call, co-chief Ted Sarandos pointed out that Netflix's latest releases such as Don't Look Up, Red Notice and Adam Project were "some of the most popular and most watched movies in the world," while 2022 films such as The Gray Man — which had more than $200 million USD in budget — and Knives Out 2 will be "more impactful" than its 2021 releases and could possibly bring back subscribers.
Prior to Netflix's dive into pricey vanity projects, the service was known for kicking off mid-budget films and rom-coms that took subscribers by storm, including Always Be My Maybe, The Kissing Booth and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Elsewhere in entertainment, Stranger Things 4 broke the Netflix premiere weekend record.