Netflix is changing its approach to movie production for 2023 by releasing fewer films overall and restructuring its movie division. The company will combine the teams working on small projects with a budget of $30 million or less and the unit that produces mid-budget films costing $30 million to $80 million to make. This restructuring will result in a “handful” of layoffs, with two notable executives leaving the company after over a decade. Netflix Film chief Scott Stuber reportedly decided to cut down on the titles being released this year to ensure that the division is producing more high-quality projects. It is unclear if the big-budget projects division is affected.
Netflix ramped up its film development efforts after studios started building their own streaming services rather than licensing movies to Netflix. Despite the vast number of titles previously released, only a few had won accolades, reached millions of hours of streaming, or had a cultural impact similar to the biggest blockbusters. The company’s most-watched movies for 2021 and 2022 include Red Notice, Don’t Look Up, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
Netflix implemented job cuts before many of its rivals in the film, TV, and entertainment space did. However, the number of layoffs resulting from this restructuring is expected to be smaller than those from last year. HBO and HBO Max had to let some production staff members go as part of a larger Warner Bros. Discovery restructuring in August 2021, while Disney recently announced that it’s laying off 7,000 workers, including those involved with media and distribution.