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Netflix's story has been one of constant growth, going from a mail-order DVD rental biz to a television and movie production house as its subscriber counts climb. But it looks like the endless churn of Netflix Originals might slow down a tiny bit after the streaming giant took a big swing on a movie that failed to make an impact.
While Netflix has notably whiffed on TV shows like The Get Down and Marco Polo, its original movies tended to be pocket-sized rom-coms and dramas with correspondingly smaller budgets. While the expensive fantasy movie Bright was roasted mercilessly by critics, all that chatter drew huge audiences. Triple Frontier failed to meet expectations and didn't generate much buzz, so the company is revaluating big swings. Netflix's content head Ted Sarandos reportedly told a meeting that the company as a whole needs to be more careful about the way they spend money. This means that upcoming flashy flicks like Martin Scorsese's gangster pic The Irishman might be the last of a dying breed. All of this doesn't necessarily mean that Netflix won't make any more films or shows that are expensive, they'll probably just be a bit more particular with their selections.
Of course, Netflix has managed to make some great films while keeping costs low. They've excelled in multiple genres including romantic comedies (To All The Boys I've Loved Before), dramas (Mudblood), sci-fi (Okja) and even animation (The Little Prince). Artier fare like Roma even netted the service three Oscars. Netflix can likely make due with a slate of smaller, niche films that can find their audience via the service's own algorithm.