If there is still any doubt, it is now certain, Netflix is in crisis and has just lost a million subscribers, so it must find its franchise.< /strong>
In just a few years, the small DVD rental business by the name of Netflix has become a hyper-lucrative multinational, thanks to its two main activities: the distribution of pre-existing works and the creation of original programs. With its huge catalog of very varied programs, from movies and series to reality TV and anime, and coming from many different countries,Netflix enjoyed exclusivity for several years, before the competition getting tougher and tougher.
Because yes, even if everyone is only talking about Stranger Things and The Bridgerton Chronicle, other platforms such as Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ or even HBO Max (not yet available in France) have come to walk on the flowerbeds of the famous N rouge. Today, we can consider that Disney+ is the direct competitor of Netflix, thanks to its series derived from its flagship franchises such as Star Wars, but also Marvel.
And then to top it off, HBO Max will soon air House of the Dragon, the first spin-off series from Game of Thrones , and Amazon Prime Video will unveil The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Netflix's biggest problem is that the platform hasn't yet found its big franchise that will earn it the most pennies.
While we learned in April 2022 that Netflix had just experienced a historic loss of subscribers, in June 2022, Netflix boss Ted Sarandos announced that the ads were going to land on the platform. If all this were not enough, a new twist in the “Netflix in crisis” affair has just been identified: the platform lost 970,000 subscribers between March and June 2022. Faced with this huge loss, which Netflix originally estimated at 2 million subscribers, it seems that the solution lies with the franchises, this is in any case what revealed Matthew Thunell, one of the platform leaders, in an interview with Reuters:
“We want our own Star Wars or Harry Potter, and we're working very hard on that. But those things don't just happen by snapping our fingers. There are shows like Stranger Things that are very popular and hold enough mythology and side plots to allow us to progress the series into anime, live-action or animated films.”
Even if it is true that the platform has not yet put its finger on its great franchise, it must be recognized that the effort has rather been put on the side of the series and not of the films. Nevertheless, Netflix has announced several spin-offs derived from its successful series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher and The Bridgerton Chronicle. As for the films produced by the platform, some are destined to become franchises, such as Enola Holmes, the second part of which should be released soon, or Knives Out 2, the sequel to the first part released in cinemas.
More generally, one could simply ask whether a franchise could be as successful as Harry Potter or Star Wars, to name a few, without benefiting from a theatrical release. Without the almost sacred gesture for fan communities to come together in a dark room, perhaps a franchise cannot reach its viewers as much and become such a cult object of pop culture.
But who knows, maybe The Gray Man, slated for release the July 22, 2022 on Netflix will be the first movie in a long successful franchise? In any case, this is what the Russo brothers hope, who already think that The Gray Man could be part of an extended universe on Netflix.