Netflix and Amazon are taking a step back from independent films in favor of more traditional theatrical deals.
Recently, Reuters ran a story about Amazon investing less of its resources into smaller indie films in favor of more blockbuster type content. According to the report, the company’s new plan of attack is to go after films with budgets in the $50 million range at the expense of indie projects costing around $5 million.
And it seems Amazon is not the only streaming service placing less focus on buying independent films, but Netflix as well.
This shift away from indie projects was especially apparent at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where Netflix and Amazon did not purchase a single film — a noticeable difference from the previous two Sundance Festivals. In 2016, both companies left having bought six titles each and last year, Netflix walked away with 10 titles bought (including “Mudbound” for $12.5 million), while Amazon took home five.
[READ] Amazon is Reportedly Putting the Breaks on Indie Films In Favor of More Wide-Reaching Content
According to Business Insider, who cited sources familiar with the matter, Netflix is no longer going to casually pay top dollar for indie titles that it can get later on in the library deals it has with most of the studios and distributors.
“They’ve learned that audiences don’t care if it’s first week or week 100, they are going to watch it,” a producer who wished to remain nameless told the news publication.
A source close to Amazon told Business Insider that the company’s slate for 2018 is basically locked, so it was going into Sundance very selective.
Of course, just because neither company has bought anything during Sundance doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the coming months. As BI noted in its report, the weeks following the festival are when the buying is most prevalent.