As the opening titles to Watchman, accompanied by Bob Dylan, told us many years ago, Times They Are A Changin’. You know it, we know it, and now it seems Hollywood is finally waking up to the fact that movies are too damned expensive.

Yes, talent costs money, crews have to be paid, sets constructed and VFX isn’t free, but it is absolutely clear that budgets are totally out of control, and out of sync with reality.

When we played the Adjusted For Inflation game, we pointed out that Jaws still only cost $51.5 million in today’s money, despite being shot entirely on location, with huge sequences out on the water, and being a notoriously troubled production that went way over budget.


Standard Hollywood accounting


Something stinks, and it appears Netflix’s new Head Of Film agrees. The new boss, Dan Lin, has a reputation in Hollywood for coming in on budget, and controlling those budgets well.

Now The Hollywood Reporter has done a feature on the man who is about to control a budgetary pot bigger than many legacy Hollywood studios combined. Any producers and talent licking their lips as they look at the Netflix gravy train need to be thinking again. His blunt assessment of Netflix’s efforts to date:

“The movies weren’t great and the financials didn’t add up”.

So some of these huge projects starring, or made by, The Rock, Ryan Reynolds, Zach Snyder and others may have their wings clipped. The report says budgets:

“…may be smaller than those working with Netflix are accustomed”.

The report points to Lin getting deep, deep into the data and thinking forensically. The company’s new film slate is rumored to be more focused on midsized offerings. Can Netflix be the home of the new generation of Arnie and Sly-style mid-budget action movies? The kind we used to rent the fvck out of on VHS in our youth?

If so, then we are all over this plan. Of course, feel free to pepper in a few rom-coms. You know, for the ladies.


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