Netflix Attacks Its Movie Deficit But Is It Enough?

Over the last few months there have been a number of stories in the blogosphere about the shrinking Netflix movie catalogue. I contributed to this storyline in my post Netflix Streaming: The Other Story . The early response to these stories was that Netflix was going to focus their resources on original content because licensing fees were becoming cost prohibitive. Over the last couple of weeks Netflix has, at least for now, decided not to abandon entirely their customers who want more than just original content.

Over the last few months there have been a number of stories in the blogosphere about the shrinking Netflix movie catalogue. I contributed to this storyline in my post  Netflix Streaming: The Other Story . The early response to these stories was that Netflix was going to focus their resources on original content because licensing fees were becoming cost prohibitive. Over the last couple of weeks Netflix has, at least for now, decided not to abandon entirely their customers who want more than just original content. On May 23rd Netflix announced that, beginning in September, Netflix would be the exclusive U.S. pay TV provider for the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. Once they’ve left the movie theaters, the only place you’ll be able to see films from these proven producers of blockbuster movies is on Netflix. Along with this announcement, Netflix released a short clip on what’s coming to Netflix this summer. You can find it in this linked story. This deal, worth $600 million, is on the heels of a $100 million, 5 year deal with Miramax to retain the rights to their inventory of 700 movies. Absent a deal with Miramax, Netflix would have lost the licensing rights to many of their older classic movies such as Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction. Amazon’s hopes of catching up to Netflix, in terms of the size of movie inventory, have been seriously damaged.

These deals shore up a growing weakness for Netflix. For movie lovers like myself, though, a huge gap remains between the movies we want to see and the movies available on Netflix streaming and Amazon Prime. In my movie database there are 423 “really like” movies. Only 68 are available on these two leading streaming services, combined. That’s only 16%. If you only have Amazon Prime, 20 of these 423 movies, or 5%, would be available. If you only have Netflix, 48 of 423, or 11%, would be available. A la Carte purchase of movies through pay per view venues isn’t going away. This isn’t good news for those of us who are already paying for streaming services and/or premium cable channels and still have to pay more to see 85% of the movies we’re interested in.

I guess, with apologies to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, if you can’t be with the movie you love, love the movie your with.

Chick Flicks Can Be Found in the Most Unusual Places

One of the best kept secrets, outside of Marvel Studios, is the widespread appeal that the Marvel Universe has for women.

Captain America: Civil War opens tomorrow in the United States. It is expected to have a huge box office weekend and beyond. The indicators are all in place. It opened last weekend internationally to an $80,000,000 gross in ticket sales. It is already #86 on the IMDB Top 250 with an 8.5 rating. And, Rotten Tomatoes has it at 93% Certified Fresh. And, women everywhere will be dragging along their significant other to witness the epic battle of superhero vs. superhero. Whaaaat??? Women???

One of the best kept secrets, outside of Marvel Studios, is the widespread appeal that the Marvel Universe has for women. Here are the IMDB ratings for the previous movies with Captain America: Civil War characters in them:

MOVIE MALE FEMALE
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 7.7 7.9
Captain America: The First Avenger 6.8 7.1
Avengers: Age of Ultron 7.4 7.7
The Avengers 8.1 8.3
Iron Man 3 7.2 7.7
Iron Man 2 7.0 7.3
Iron Man 7.9 7.9
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 6.7 7.2
The Amazing Spider-Man 7.0 7.4
Total IMDB Average 7.3 7.6

While technically, the Amazing Spider-Man movies were not part of the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man is a Marvel character whose rights have been restored Marvel with his appearance in this film.

The male to female splits in the IMDB ratings are comparable to Romantic Comedy splits. For some perspective, When Harry Met Sally has 7.6/7.7 split. The Princess Bride has an 81/82 split. The average of theses 9 Captain America: Civil War related movies is a 7.3/7.6 split, with 8 out of 9 being favored by women.

Other Marvel Universe movies reflect similar splits:

MOVIE MALE FEMALE
X-Men: First Class 7.7 7.9
X-Men: Days of Future Past 8.0 8.2
Thor: The Dark World 7.0 7.5
Thor 7.0 7.4
Deadpool 8.2 8.3
Guardians of the Galaxy 8.0 8.1
Fantastic Four 4.3 4.7
Total IMDB Average 7.2 7.4

I don’t know how to explain it but the consistent results don’t lie, women are quite at home in the Marvel Universe. Perhaps it is the humor that permeates the narratives. Perhaps it is focus on character development that pays as much attention to the human character as the super character. Whatever it is, it may be the critical difference between the success of Marvel movies in contrast to DC Comics movies, the splits on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice , for example, are 7.1 for Males and 6.9 for Females.

So, Ladies, enjoy Captain America: Civil War this weekend. Don’t be surprised, however, if your significant other would rather stay home and watch When Harry Met Sally.

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After completing this post, I discovered that I had forgotten to include Ant-Man as one of the movies whose character appears in Captain America: Civil War. The splits in the IMDB ratings for Ant-Man are 7.3 Male and 7.5 Female. It’s uncanny.