Last weekend, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarantos announced on a blog that the Video-On-Demand service would soon be making big changes to the sort of films it let its members watch – and a lot of major blockbusters won’t be surviving the cull.
“We have decided not to renew our agreement in the US with Epix, the cable network, which means that some high profile movies including Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z and Transformers: Age of Extinction, will expire at the end of September in the US,” Sarantos said.
Replacing these big-name movies will be Netflix’s own original features, including upcoming films from Brad Pitt, Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler, Angelina Jolie and Ricky Gervais. The first such film, Beasts of No Nation, will star Idris Elba and be directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga and is set for release this October.
“We know some of you will be disappointed by the expiration of the Epix movies,” Sarantos said. “Our goal is to provide great movies and TV series for all tastes, that are only available on Netflix. We’re confident you’ll enjoy our ever-improving catalogue.”
Sad times for fans of The Hunger Games et al, right? Well not exactly – because if you’re reading this in the UK, your choice of Netflix movies is unlikely to be affected.
RadioTimes.com has spoken to Netflix UK, and confirmed that the Epix deal only applies to the American version of the service. In other words, The Hunger Games, World War Z and any other films affected by the end of that contract won’t be leaving Netflix UK at the end of September – so you can watch them to your heart’s content.
Basically, as with earlier in the year when Netflix US removed Doctor Who and other BBC series from its US but not its UK version, it pays to binge-watch in Britain. God save the stream.