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Ted Sarandos Believes Barbie & Oppenheimer Could’ve Succeeded Just as Well on Netflix

Ted Sarandos Believes Barbie & Oppenheimer Could've Succeeded Just as Well on Netflix
Barbie and Oppenheimer (Warner Bros and Universal Pictures)

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO, maintains that box office hits like Barbie and Oppenheimer would have been equally successful if they had debuted on the streaming platform instead of theaters. Sarandos has been consistent in his belief that Netflix should focus on creating content specifically for streaming rather than prioritizing theatrical releases, a stance that has sparked debate, especially amidst concerns that streaming may have negatively impacted box office performance.

Despite the skepticism surrounding Netflix’s release strategy, both Barbie and Oppenheimer enjoyed immense success at the box office, becoming cultural phenomena dubbed “Barbenheimer.” Sarandos insists that had these films been released on Netflix, they would have garnered just as large an audience. He argues that the size of the screen does not determine a film’s quality or audience appeal, citing examples of viewers, including his own son, watching classic films on their phones.

Ted Sarandos Believes Barbie & Oppenheimer Could've Succeeded Just as Well on Netflix

Barbie and Oppenheimer (Warner Bros and Universal Pictures)

However, Sarandos’s assertion may not sit well with film enthusiasts who value the cinematic experience. While other streaming platforms like Prime Video and Apple TV+ have adopted a hybrid release strategy, Netflix remains committed to its streaming-centric approach.

The debate extends to the cultural significance of films. Netflix often boasts about its viewership figures in the initial weeks following a film’s release, but many Netflix originals tend to fade from the cultural conversation shortly thereafter. In contrast, Barbie and Oppenheimer generated buzz and excitement among moviegoers, resulting in record-breaking box office earnings for their respective studios. Their theatrical releases transformed into events and cultural movements, which may not have been replicated with streaming-only releases.

Ultimately, Sarandos’s remarks highlight the ongoing debate surrounding the impact of streaming on the film industry and the evolving preferences of audiences. While Netflix stands by its release strategy, the success of films like Barbie and Oppenheimer underscores the enduring appeal of the theatrical experience for many moviegoers.

Mona Sharma
Written By

Mona is a film lover based in Chennai, India. She focuses on the South Indian film industry and enjoys sharing her thoughts on new releases. You can email her at [email protected].

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