The Big Sick is one of the best movies of the summer and Netflix should be paying attention if they want to avoid seeing Amazon cut into their territory.
Netflix is the streaming giant with more than 100 million subscribers and more than half of them coming from international subscribers. The streaming company was also recently nominated for 91 Emmys, second only to HBO, but there are still areas for Netflix to grow and they should take a page out of their biggest competitor, Amazon.
While Netflix is the unrivaled giant in the streaming industry, they are lacking when it comes to original motion pictures. Amazon is the industry leader when it comes to acquiring, producing and distributing movies and this strength is the biggest hope they have to carve into Netflix’s market.
Amazon may never come close to approaching the sheer volume of content that Netflix boasts, especially when it comes to original content. Amazon has great programming like Transparent, Catastrophe, Mozart in the Jungle and The Man in the High Castle, but it’ll never compare to the arsenal that Netflix boasts.
The one area they need to dominate is with original movies. Last year it was Manchester by the Sea that helped put Amazon Studios on the map. The emotionally gripping movie was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, and saw Casey Affleck and Kenneth Lonergan win for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, respectively.
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This year, it’s The Big Sick, that could be the big winner at the Oscars next year. The movie represents the second big leap by Amazon Studios to make headway at the box office, a place Netflix is reluctant to take.
The Big Sick generated some buzz at SXSW Film Festival when it won the Audience Award and won at the Nantucket Film Festival for Best Narrative Feature. After a limited release in theaters, The Big Sick was released nationwide on July 14 and critics are in love.
Kumail Nanjiani wrote the movie with his wife Emily V. Gordon and tells the story of their courtship, overcoming cultural differences and a life-threatening illness to fall in love. Judd Apatow is the producer and Michael Showalter directed the movie that also stars Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano.
It’s got a great cast with known commodities and upcoming stars. It has a large name in Apatow to produce and Showalter is a budding director in his own right. This was a perfect storm of opportunity for Amazon Studios to jump on a project and have it be their “next big thing.”
Meanwhile, Netflix was under fire for being unwilling to have their original movies like Okja play in theaters. And their other movies like the big-budget Brad Pitt movie, War Machine was an epic flop. Netflix will continue to churn out Adam Sandler movies, however, and perhaps they’ll find a gem with The Meyerowitz Stories that generated some positive buzz at the Cannes Film Festival.
Until Netflix has a certifiable blockbuster on their hands, Amazon Studios will remain the leader when it comes to movie production. Netflix has all the resources to make Oscar-caliber movies, but it remains to be seen if that’s something they’re interested in.
Amazon will gladly cornering the market while Netflix stumbles in the one area they haven’t perfected.