Netflix boss declares ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ would have had ‘just as big an audience’ on streamer

Netflix boss declares ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ would have had ‘just as big an audience’ on streamer

‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ would have grabbed “just as big an audience” on Netflix as in cinemas, the streamer’s co-CEO has declared.

Ted Sarandos, 59, made the statement about last year’s two biggest blockbusters – which raked in a joint $2.4 billion at the global box office and were credited with helping ‘save cinema’ from the jaws of stay-at-home streaming – while talking about what type of content isn’t right for Netflix.

He told The New York Times: “I don’t think that there’s a clean answer because the best version of something may work really well for Netflix but just hasn’t worked to date.

“There’s some obvious ones, like we don’t do breaking news and that kind of thing, because I think there’s a lot of other outlets for it. People aren’t looking to us for that.”

When the Netflix boss’ Times interviewer then pointed out the theatrical releases of ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’, which spawned the cultural phenomenon ‘Barbenheimer’ – sparked by film fans going to watch both movies consecutively – he added: “Both of those movies would be great for Netflix. They definitely would have enjoyed just as big an audience on Netflix.”

He went on: “And so I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that certain kinds of movies do or don’t work.

“There’s no reason to believe that the movie itself is better in any size of screen for all people. My son’s an editor. He is 28 years old, and he watched ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ on his phone.”

Sarandos said in January Netflix does not plan to change its “strategy or the mix (of licensed and original films)” after 55-year-old Scott Stuber’s exit as its film chairman. According to the co-CEO, Netflix’s original movies “are attracting some of the biggest audiences in the world”.

He added: “It’s always going to be that kind of blend of, first window, second window and deep catalogue.

“We think that formula works best to entertain the world.”