After releasing around 50 original films last year, Netflix is aiming to bump that number up to the range of 80 films in 2018, according to Variety. While those individuals who have subscriptions to the streaming service are undoubtedly excited to embrace this new format of viewing original feature-length projects, not everyone is onboard. In an interview with ITV News, Steven Spielberg spoke about there being a clear division between the movies that appear in theaters, and television movies, which is where he feels Netflix currently stands.
“I don’t believe that films that are given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for Academy Award nominations,” Spielberg said, per Deadline. “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. If it’s a good show, you deserve an Emmy. But not an Oscar.”
The Ready Player One director and producer admits that television is in the midst of a golden age, and their success directly impacts the film industry. “Television is thriving with quality and heart,” he said. “But it poses a clear and present danger to filmgoers.” Spielberg’s remarks towards Netflix's streaming model take a different angle than that of filmmaker Christopher Nolan, who also isn't welcoming the Netflix era of watching movies with open arms.
"Netflix has a bizarre aversion to supporting theatrical films,” Nolan said in an interview last year, per IndieWire. “They have this mindless policy of everything having to be simultaneously streamed and released, which is obviously an untenable model for theatrical presentation. So they’re not even getting in the game, and I think they’re missing a huge opportunity."
Skip ahead to the 4:25 mark on the above video to see Spielberg’s comments.