A few movie producers are likely wondering how Netflix's original series "House of Cards" would have done had it been a theatrical movie. Would it have been a huge box office hit, or are people unwilling to spend a ticket price to see something similar in a movie theatre? Other than a public starved for movie comedies, it's clear that investing time going to a movie theatre is evolving into being only for big events and not TV level material.
And yet it might become a challenge to decipher what exactly is ready-made for a movie theater or better suited for another venue. For decades, the alternative has always been the dreaded straight to video (DVD) route with movies deemed an immediate failure for theatrical run. Now it's inevitable that with the success of series "House of Cards", feature movies have the potential to muscle their way into the online streaming mix.
The question is whether Netflix will eventually take on new features when movies are perceived so much differently. To wit, movies don't require quite as much investment of time as a series such as "House of Cards." It's still worth pondering how that series would have worked as a two-hour movie streamed on Netflix.
Any difference seems to come in our perspective of how we look at entertainment. When it's automatically done as an ersatz series, our minds consider the streaming service acceptable because it's so much like TV. If it's turned into a movie, most of us are wired to demand something larger scale to enhance our perceptions.
However, with many people beginning to stream Netflix through a 70-inch Smart TV, it might slowly change how we view a new feature film. All that's required is a new business model on how a new, A-list movie can be marketed on Netflix. But any new business structure likely won't be started by mainstream studios and perhaps from the independent side to start and think small.
It's not that we haven't seen small indie features online before and currently. Nowhere, though, have we seen an indie in a high profile place or with a director or writer's name people recognize. Netflix is the perfect avenue for the indie feature, even while it has the potential to wholly help the indie film industry.
More exposure to indie films on Netflix would help so many features that are perpetually canceled out due to oversaturation and lack of money for decent marketing. Of course, only indie films with truly compelling content would have the green light. Having a forum for just any quirky film venture wouldn't be the point.
Once such a thing inevitably happens on Netflix, only then will major studios dig in. The dangers therein, as one might know, would be in the usurping of the indie all over again with mainstream, A-list spectacles. Such a scenario simply instigates the outside movie world duplicating in the online universe.
As daunting as that sounds, the idea of watching first-run, top-flight movies instantly in our homes or on the go simply can't be held down. Netflix should work out a blueprint to start working toward that goal this year as a future foundation toward saving face.
After all, streaming strictly TV shows works the same as real TV: Audiences only accept specific ideas and may reject the next half dozen shows on the Netflix streaming slate.