Netflix CEO claims ‘Barbenheimer’ would have worked on Netflix
(Credits: Best of Netflix / Warner Bros / Universal Pictures)

Film News

Netflix CEO claims 'Barbenheimer' would have worked on Netflix

The CEO of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, has said that the ‘Barbenheimer’ phenomenon of 2023, which combined the release of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, would have worked well on the streaming service.

Released on the very same day, the two starkly different movies performed well alongside one another, leading to huge box office takings, but Sarandos thinks that such success would have occurred even through home entertainment.

In an interview with The New York Times, Sarandos said that Netflix has enough subscribers to allow for films like Oppenheimer and Barbie to get huge viewing figures, even though the latter brought in nearly $1.5billion at the box office and the former nearly a billion.

“Both of those movies would be great for Netflix,” Sarandos noted. “They definitely would have enjoyed just as big an audience on Netflix.”

Sarandos went on to say that he thinks that most films would enjoy success on Netflix if given the chance. “I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that certain kinds of movies do or don’t work,” he said.

Referring to the modern way of watching cinema through portable devices, Sarandos continued, “There’s no reason to believe that the movie itself is better in any size of screen for all people. My son’s an editor. He is 28 years old, and he watched Lawrence of Arabia on his phone.”

As technology progresses even further, Sarandos believes that the film and television industry will continue to allow audiences to enjoy their favourite movies and TV shows in a variety of new ways.

Still, Sarandos isn’t against ruling out a certain number of avenues for Netflix. “I don’t think that there’s a clean answer because the best version of something may work really well for Netflix but just hasn’t worked to date,” he said. 

The CEO of the streaming service added, “There’s some obvious ones, like we don’t do breaking news and that kind of thing, because I think there’s a lot of other outlets for it. People aren’t looking to us for that.”

What people are looking to Netflix for is entertainment itself, and seeing as both Barbie and Oppenheimer were two of the biggest movies of 2023, it comes as no surprise to learn that Sarandos would have been keen to snap both productions up to the streaming service. Whether Gerwig and Nolan would agree to such a suggestion, though, is highly unlikely.