TIFF Market: Why Netflix Is Shelling Out Big Bucks for Festival Flicks | Analysis

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Amid a Toronto International Film Festival beset by strike concerns and a cutback on content splurges, the streaming leader is still cutting checks

Toronto and Venice Film Festival
From left, "Hit Man," "The Critic," "His Three Daughters" and "Woman of the Year." (Netflix, Courtesy of TIFF)

Netflix spent big at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, picking up Anna Kendrick’s directorial debut “Woman of the Hour” for $11 million and Richard Linklater’s well-reviewed “Hit Man” for $20 million. But other than that and despite an unusually numerous 50 titles for sale, the TIFF market at large was muted.

The lack of activity was in sync with the festival season for 2023 so far, as Sundance and Cannes went off with a smattering of deals compared to years past.

“In this marketplace, the studios and streamers, aside from Netflix, would rather spend big bucks on one or two movies that they are passionate about versus spending a boatload of money to fill a slate or clog up the pipeline with regular content,” a high-level distribution executive told TheWrap who declined to be named.