Netflix is reportedly spending more than $1 per subscriber to make Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman'

  • Netflix is spending more than $520 million to make three major movies, including Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”; “Red Notice,” starring Dwayne Johnson; and “6 Underground,” theWall Street Journal reported.
  • The cost of the films together comes out to close to $3.50 per Netflix subscriber, of which there are 151.6 million around the world.
  • The big-budget movies are meant to hold onto subscribers — and attract new ones.
  • Scorsese’s film could also give Netflix a shot at its first Best Picture award at the Oscars next year, an accolade that could justify the film’s sizable budget.
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Netflix is spending more than $1 per subscriber to make Martin Scorsese’s return the mobster genre, “The Irishman.”

Netflix is investing between $173 million and $200 million in the film — an incredible sum for an adult drama in 2019 —The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people close to the pictures. That comes out to more than $1 per Netflix subscriber, of which there were 151.6 million around the world as of the first quarter.

The streaming giant is also spending nearly $200 million on the Dwayne Johnson action vehicle, “Red Notice,” which also stars Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, according to The Journal. And it’s investing another $150 million on “Six Underground,” produced by Michael Bay, which will be the streamer’s first attempt at the kind of action-packed popcorn flicks that are usually bound for movie theaters.

Together, the cost of the three films equates to nearly $3.50 per subscriber.

Movies typically cost Netflix more to make than other studios because the streaming giant pays talent more up front, rather than sharing the revenue or profits, as The Journal noted.

The upcoming movies, which are bigger in both budget and scale than any film Netflix has released to date, could help Netflix hold onto existing subscribers, and attract new ones, as the company faces more competition in the US from soon-to-launch streaming services like Disney Plus and HBO Max. Netflixlost subscribers in the US during the first quarter, a first in eight years.

With “The Irishman,” Netflix may also have a realistic shot next year at a Best Picture award at the Oscars, an accolade the company courted in 2019 for Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” but lost. The chance for Netflix to win its first Oscar — and bring Scorsese into its inner circle — alone may have justified the film’s sizable expense.

Netflix says its goal is to show customers that it is re-investing the money from their subscription fees back into series and movies that members will want to watch, and features that make the platform better.

“We think our job is to effectively invest the money that our subscribers give us every month, so that we can give them incredible content and a better and better product experience,” Greg Peters, chief product officer at Netflix, said during the company’s fourth quarter conference call.

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