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Netflix to Pay $90 Million for New Will Smith Movie

Entertainment / March 20, 2016

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Netflix is ready to drop over $90 million for a new Will Smith movie after a two-week bidding war.

via Business Insider:

The movie is a cop thriller called “Bright” that contains “fantastical elements” (including orcs). Netflix will spend about $45 million to shoot the film, the same for talent, plus $3 million for the script by Max Landis, Deadline reports.

This is Netflix’s biggest push yet into blockbuster films. This purchase significantly outstrips the $60 million Netflix paid for Brad Pitt’s “War Machine,” which has not yet been released.

Netflix reportedly fought off multiple other bidders, including Warner Brothers and MGM, both of whom would have given the movie a wide theatrical release.

Netflix’s commitment to “day-and-date releases,” meaning that movies are available to stream on Netflix the same day they arrive in theaters, will likely limit how many big screens show “Bright.” Theater giants like Regal have publicly denounced this release policy, and Netflix’s previous films have seen very limited theatrical releases.

“It’s going to be very, very difficult for Netflix to get the major theater chains to carry its movies,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett recently told The Los Angeles Times.

But Netflix derives its value from subscriptions, and securing a possible franchise blockbuster like “Bright,” along with a big name like Smith, could lure people onto the platform.

‘Bright’ will begin shooting in the fall, with David Ayer attached as the director.

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