The Movie Waffler Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners Signs Deal with Netflix | The Movie Waffler

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners Signs Deal with Netflix

Hollywood giant Steven Spielberg is in the news again today with the announcement that his Amblin Partners entertainment company has signed the paperwork on a deal with Netflix. According to the terms of the agreement, Amblin Partners is set to produce multiple movies for Netflix each year, though for how long remains unknown. As the largest name in filmmaking now attached to Netflix, this development could herald the final step in changing the traditional big-screen industry, repeating a trajectory established in 2020.

An Industry Reshaped

Ever since the first commercial movie aired in 1895 at the Grand Café in Paris, the big screen has been the de facto home of the biggest releases. While there were many reasons for this, the fundamental arguments that it should stay this way revolved around traditionalism and economic reality. While tradition for tradition’s sake doesn’t require much of an argument, being more of a subjective matter, from an economic standpoint, such a system of releases made sense.

As one of the most popular forms of entertainment, there’s a lot of money riding on big releases performing well at the theatre. Though it could be possible for these releases to do well if initially released over home media, there are risks associated with this avenue. These primarily relate to the ease of piracy, where it’s been thought that the dangers of copying tapes and DVDs could reduce a film's profitability.

Of course, these ideas depended on an outmoded movie environment. With the arrival and popularisation of systems like Netflix and Disney+, this long-established ecosystem began to change. Following significant investment into their internal productions, these companies began to release movies with vastly superior quality than what audiences had grown to expect from direct to home releases. Movies like Bird Box and Extraction set records for performance, and in 2020, more established production companies took note.

During 2020, streamed movies began to reach outside of cinema-only releases, with some being available simultaneously on streaming and in-theatre. As it turns out, the fears of piracy were massively overstated, with these movies reaching profound social and financial success. Today, it seems that message has reached the top, where Steven Spielberg has decided to dip his toes into the water.

A Predictable Path

While movies are the latest to make this jump into a home-delivery sphere, it’s worth noting that they are far from the only industry to make the switch. As others like online casinos have shown for decades, the path here is too great to ignore. A strong example of an established name in this sphere is Bingo casino, where Buzz Bingo and other games have seen significant success when accessible online. Whether through slots like Rhino Blitz and Flaming bars, or any other game type, the gambling industry expanded rapidly with the advantages the internet brings, and now movies finally want a taste.

Though there’s no date or titles yet announced by Spielberg or Amblin Partners, a safe bet would put their first release on Netflix sometime in 2022. For those of us who prefer at-home movies to the theatre experience, we can't wait. For everyone else, there are still the traditional forms of access, and those don't seem to be going anywhere.