Despite the fact that Netflix was reportedly in debt for around $4.8 million towards the end of last year, the streaming platform has showed no signs of slowing down its quest for world domination. For the most part, hardcore TV fanatics and neutral observers alike have welcomed Netflix’s foray into the world of television and more recently film, owing to the fact that the streaming giant has provided us with hours of high quality, original programming.
However, after Bong Joon’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories were permitted to be in the running for Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, Netflix seemingly stepped on the toes of the movie elite. In particular, Okja’s inclusion rankled with the packed out audience, who made their displeasure known by roundly booing the computer generated ‘super-pig’ which, in itself, sounds like something that you’d hear about in a dystopian theater complex 100 years from now as opposed to one of the world’s most well respected film festivals.
Are Streaming Platforms Killing The Cinema Industry?
With 67% of millennials paying for between one and three streaming services last year despite the fact they felt the packages were overpriced, it’s not hard to see why Netflix and other platforms represent a direct threat to the film industry. However, the plethora of comic book themed movies recently released at the cinema such as Wonder Woman and The Avengers franchise have enjoyed huge amounts of success and are proof that if movies are good enough, consumers will still flock to the cinema in their droves. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just superhero themed films that are raking in the cash at the movie theaters.
The 2015 Jurassic World movie starring Chris Pratt grossed $208.8 million in its opening weekend, eclipsing records set by both The Avengers ($207m) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191m). In addition to this, Jurassic World spawned a number of spin off video games, including a Lego: Jurassic World multi-platformer, as well as an online slot game from Casino Room, where players must navigate their way through a slowly scrolling jungle background in search of the T-Rex and Velociraptor symbols, which produced guaranteed wins. As explained in this Casino room review, users can indulge in their favorite movie themed slot games while enjoying various welcome bonuses and 25 free spins just for registering with the casino, which can certainly come in handy when trying to wade your way past genetically engineered dinosaurs.
No More Palme d’Or
In an interview Le Film Francais last week, film festival head Thierry Fremaux announced that while Netflix and other streaming giants will be allowed to showcase their films, they won’t be in the running for the highly coveted Palme d’Or award (he also bizarrely placed a blanket bans on selfies on the red carpet – who knows why?) While this decision was quite clearly made due to the backlash from French filmmakers and unions who widely condemned the move to allow the movies into the category in the first place, the situation has provided an eye opening insight into the amount of pressure that Netflix and other streams are putting on the film industry as a whole.
Will Netflix Call Cannes’ Bluff?
It’s likely that the back and forth between film festivals and streaming platforms will continue for the foreseeable future. Will Netflix be bothered that their movies are no longer eligible for any awards at Cannes? Probably not. If anything, the press and attention that Thierry Fremaux’s decision has received will help streamers rather than hinder them. It’s unlikely that many cinema buffs will have heard of Okja the computer generated pig before this fallout, However, now, it may just be at the top of some people’s ‘to watch’ list.