There may be a lot of great movies on Netflix, but there are a whole lot more that aren't — and if you're a fan of Deadpool, Harry Potter, Marvel, James Bond or Jeff Goldblum, this really isn't your day.
Sadly for those with a Netflix subscription, FX is basically stockpiling all the good movies to hit theaters this year (and some of the bad). The cable channel just announced that they have bought the exclusive rights to Jason Bourne, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Neighbors 2, Ghostbusters, The Secret Life of Pets, Now You See Me 2, The Purge: Election Year and more.
What that means is none of those movies will be available to stream on Netflix any time soon. It's not all doom and gloom — FX may only have the rights to some of those flicks for a limited amount of time — but it is symptomatic of a wider problem for Netflix, which frequently fields criticism over its inability to put together a library full of big, recent, audience-pleasing blockbusters.
Some European subscribers currently have access to movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but the US and Canada don't. A lot of the biggest movies on Netflix are at least a few years old, the streaming site instead opting to buy indies like this year's The Fundamentals of Caring from Sundance Festival. That's good news for those who like low-key, talky films, but less so if you're into action, superheroes or questionable CGI.
Other movies you won't be watching on Netflix any time soon include the Harry Potter franchise, the James Bond series and Star Wars, three of the biggest five movie franchises of all time. On Monday, NBCUniversal announced it had bought the exclusive rights to all eight Harry Potter movies plus the upcoming Fantastic Beasts trilogy, in a deal which will last until 2025. That's a slap in the face if you ever dreamed of Netflix and chillin' with Professor McGonagall.
Wait... Could This Be A Good Thing?
Well, that depends on your perspective and your prerogative to play the optimist, but here's why it might be: Netflix is a great service which has changed how we watch television, but the fact that it won't be easy to watch Skyfall, Deathly Hallows or X-Men: Apocalypse on-demand means people still have an incentive to go to the theater and see those big blockbusters in the environment they were meant to be seen in.
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The knowledge that everything will hit Netflix within six months would threaten the entire experience of feeling psyched to go to the theater with your mates and see a movie in 3D or IMAX. That's not something Netflix can hope to replicate any time soon, and it's one of the reasons why the movie industry hasn't changed in the same way the process of making television shows has.
And let's not forget that Netflix isn't exactly short-changing you with its movie library — it has a pretty vast collection spanning everything from horror to action to foreign cinema. If you find yourself watching a French lesbian drama instead of Captain America: Civil War, that might not be the worst thing in the world. Play it safe at theaters by all means, but allow Netflix to broaden your horizons a little.
In time, I imagine Netflix will start acquiring more big blockbusters. Having titles like The Force Awakens available at the click of a button will bring millions of new customers to the service, and that will justify whatever outer-galactical figure they have to pay for the rights. But until then, let's not mourn the fact that Netflix hasn't completely monopolized our lives just yet.