Indies in Berlin Shift Gears as Streamers Change Map to Big Screen

Variety | 2/4/2019 | John Hopewell
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When the history of this decade’s movie industry is written, 2019 could go down as a tipping point in the power balance between the traditional international industry and the rampant building of new OTT platforms.

That balance is already playing out across fests, including this year’s Berlin Film Festival, which has its first Netflix movie in competition, Isabel Coixet’s “Elisa & Marcela,” and the European Film Market, Europe’s second-biggest movie meet.

Hollywood - Studios - Transition - OTT - Model

Hollywood studios’ transition to a predominately OTT model could take a decade, says Ampere Analysis’ Guy Bisson.

But the pieces are falling into place. New OTT platforms Disney+ and AT&T’s WarnerMedia launch later this year. In November, Apple announced its first movie slate production deal with A24, now led by Sofia Coppola’s “On the Rocks.”

Netflix - Wave - Households - Susanne - Bier

Netflix, riding the wave of its 80 million-plus first-four-week households for Susanne Bier’s “Bird Box,” will spend “more of the same, but on a continued larger scale,” Netflix head honcho Ted Sarandos said at his company’s earnings call this month. That means increasingly more on movies, when feature length shows represented 66% of Netflix’s global catalog titles in November 2016, according to Ampere Analysis.

The money for independent production is increasingly coming from SVOD and independent platforms. “There’s a big shift in the independent movie financing model,” says Bisson.

Sales - Agent - Business - Sales - Companies

The sales agent business certainly isn’t dead — sales companies announced deals, pick-ups or sales on at least 50 movies in the first three weeks of January.

But it could be downscaling. By Jan. 21, less than three weeks from this year’s Berlin Film Festival, only one high-profile title had been announced for the market: YA sci-fi thriller “Voyagers,” from Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, directed by Neil Burger (“Divergent”).

Movies - Scale - AGC - Studios - Cannes

Whether there will be any movies of the scale of AGC Studios’ Cannes duo, “Midway” and “Missing Link,” budgeted near or at $100 million,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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