Netflix

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), the two major home movie streaming platforms engaged in a severe bidding war for films at the recently concluded Sundance Film Festival. It was a scintillating show of might as the two giants engaged in an all-daggers drawn war for a bevy of films that each believed would become extremely popular with the home audience within a short time.

Sums of money that had erstwhile not been heard of at the Sundance were splashed as the two giants, together with another group of companies battled it out to bid for the films.

And it was not all about money, some bidding companies sugared their deals with the fact that once they got the films that they wanted, their objective was to roll the films to the theaters and see to it that the films are nominated for major global awards.

Fox Searchlight, the company that was behind 12 Years a Slave, a film that won the best picture at the Oscars back in 2014, was notorious for this. The company successfully leveraged on its potential to turn films into award-winning phenomena to successfully bid for what promises to be a major hit, The Birth of a Nation.

According to a report carried in Deadline, Fox Searchlight is said to have shed an amount of money that managed to beat the likes of Netflix. It is reported that Netflix was dying to put its hands on the film that it was ready to shed a cool $20 million.

The Birth of a Nation is a film that features Nate Parker, who directed and stars in it. It is a thrilling drama that is based on slavery. Interestingly, critics believe that the film is likely to become an Oscars candidate within no time.

Another film that attracted a war among the bidding companies was Manchester by the Sea. The drama by Casey Afleck attracted a major bidding war that lasted for a night. At the end of it all, it was Amazon that managed to win the film by giving out $10 million. Going by what critics and observers have to say about the film, Amazon believes that it stands to gain a lot from it in the near future.

Erick Davis of Fandago.com believes that what was witnessed at Sundance is here to stay. He says that the manner in which streaming platforms work makes it necessary for them to fight out for films that they believe may not necessarily do well in the theatres but may nonetheless turn out to be real hits among home viewers. This, he believes, makes economic sense to the likes of Netflix and Amazon.