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Netflix: A closer look at the streaming giant’s revamped film strategy

Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal joins the Live show to discuss Netflix's revamped film strategy, the streaming competition, and the outlook for profit growth.

Video transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, Netflix is gearing up to drop its Marilyn Monroe biopic, "Blonde," as the platform leans on big budget movies to win the streaming wars. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal. Allie, let's talk about how this fits into that revamped film strategy.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, well, Netflix has really leaned on a strategy of, quote, "fewer and better" titles, specifically when we talk about their movies. "Blonde," of course, has been making waves in the headlines. It's been-- there's been buzz about Oscars, potentially, but a big question is whether or not big budget films like "Blonde" are worth the sky high production costs, especially since Netflix has been so focused on profitability.

"The Gray Man," for example, was the last big budget film that Netflix released. $200 million to produce, an A-list cast, there's already a sequel in the works. But it spent just eight days on the Netflix top 10 list. In fact, viewership dropped a whopping 60% in week 2, and then by another 46% in week 3. You can see a lot of those other films also following similar patterns. Huge opening in that first week, and then a very steep drop-off the rest of the month.

Now, all that being said, "The Gray Man" still racked up a significant amount of views, 245 million hours of viewing time in its first 28 days, the number 4 most watched Netflix original. But that probably is still a disappointment for Netflix, considering that $200 million budget. So I think a bigger question that investors and analysts are asking, is Netflix leaving money on the table by not releasing a film like that in theaters first? And that's something that they're going to have to address and deal with. We'll see if "Blonde" follows that similar pattern and whether or not Netflix will update that strategy as a result.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, the bar certainly a higher one, especially given some of the slowdown that we've seen in subscriber numbers and the expectation of profitability. Allie Canal, as always, thanks so much for that.