Two-thirds of Netflix audiences had watched a romance movie in the past year – Quartz

Maybe it’s all that Netflix and scary. The streaming service found that more than 80 million of its accounts, or roughly two-thirds of its global subscriber base, watched a romance movie on Netflix between March 2017 and March 2018.

Even though Hollywood is releasing fewer romantic comedies and dramas, Netflix users seemingly remain suckers for a good romance. And the platform, which has invested in more of its own films, has released a slew of original romances this year, including The Kissing kiosk, Ibiza, Alex Strangelove, and Implement. Today (June 20), Netflix announced a new slate of romantic films to be released this summer, including Like father, which stars Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer; To all the boys I’ve loved before, a teen drama adapted from a popular young adult book series; and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a period film based on a historical novel made up of letters written between two lovers.

For a subscription service like Netflix that needs a constant supply of original content, a romance usually offers good value for money. Romantic films can be made on relatively modest budgets and don’t need big stars to be a hit with audiences. The highest-grossing romantic comedy to date, uncorrected for inflation, is My great Greek wedding, and it came out over 15 years ago, mostly with strangers at the time.

This is why romantic movies are also cheap for TV movies like Lifetime or Hallmark Channel, which do particularly well with Christmas holiday romances (paywall). There is clearly an audience for them on Netflix too.

Netflix’s focus on romance coincides with Hollywood’s apparent withdrawal from producing romantic films for the theater. Fewer romantic comedies hit US theaters last year than any year since 1989, according to Box Office Mojo data; there were only six, including three films—The stopover, almost friends, and Literally, just before Aaron– which have had such limited releases that their box office releases were not captured by the movie tracking site.

In the face of competition from television and streaming services like Netflix, movie studios are increasingly looking for movies that can be made into franchises or have stars big enough to compel audiences to go to the movies to see them on the big screen. screen. Romantic comedies rarely fit this bill.

Studios that continue to shoot romantic comedies are turning to original, modern love stories like Amazon and Lionsgate. The is very ill and the madness of Warner Brosy Rich Asians, due out later this year, or romantic dramas like Silver Linings playbook. This 2012 film was the highest-grossing romantic comedy of the past five years, grossing $ 132 million at the domestic box office, and it won Jennifer Lawrence an Oscar for Best Actress that year.

Elsewhere in the romance genre, sexy dramas based on popular franchises such as Fifty shades of Grey have stood out at the box office in recent years, as have teen romances like Love, Simon and The fault of our stars. But such films are also less and less in theaters.

Either way, Netflix numbers suggest there is still a global audience for romances, and the streaming service is catering to that appetite with its own roster of romantic originals and catalog of films this summer. The company did not break down where the audience for romance movies was the strongest in the world, but noted that the audience was global. Netflix had 55 million accounts in the United States in March and 125 million worldwide.

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