Netflix is planning to give bonuses to the filmmakers, actors and producers of films that end up being successful, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
With the initiative, Netflix reportedly aims to draw in potential hit projects that might otherwise end up at rival studios.
Success would be measured depending on the film, according to the report. For example, creators of a “prestige” film might receive bonuses based on how many awards it picks up. On the other hand, some talent may get bonuses should the film be viewed a high number of times.
As Bloomberg notes, this is a different approach from Netflix’s usual way of business, where it typically just pays talent upfront. The bonuses would help Netflix to better compete with traditional Hollywood studios, which can negotiate alternate deals related to box office success. In some cases, a studio might sign a “back-end deal” to pay talent a smaller salary but promise them a certain percentage of box-office earnings, which can be particularly lucrative with films that are surefire successes.
For example, Robert Downey, Jr. took a smaller-than-usual $20 million paycheck for his role as Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War but had a back-end deal to receive a percentage of the film’s box office earnings. This ultimately netted him an additional $55 million. With Netflix films, which don’t see a traditional theatrical release, such a deal isn’t possible.
Bloomberg‘s report doesn’t mention when Netflix will begin to incorporate this bonus initiative into its business dealings. However, the streaming giant will likely face backlash from other figures in the industry should it go forward with these plans.
Some members of Hollywood, including renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg, have argued that Netflix films shouldn’t eligible for awards because they don’t adhere to the same release criteria as theatrical films. Most recently, Cineplex refused to screen any Netflix movies at its theatres during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), stating that it wants to only acknowledge studios that “understand and appreciate the importance of the theatrical release model.”