Netflix Leads in Nominations for 77th Golden Globes

In a nod toward the soaring popularity of streaming, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honored Netflix with 34 Golden Globes nominations — more than any traditional studio or entertainment company.

The award nominations for Netflix were evenly split between movies and original series. On the movie side, Netflix garnered 17 nominations, with Sony Pictures placing a distant second with 10.

Among the Netflix films that were nominated for Golden Globes were Martin Scorsese’s critically hailed mob drama The Irishman and Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story, which picked up five and six noms, respectively.

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Both films were nominated in the Best Motion Picture — Drama category, along with a third Netflix film, The Two Popes. They will complete with DreamWorks’ 1917 (arriving in theaters Dec. 25) and Warner Bros.’ Joker (available digitally Dec. 17 and on disc Jan. 7).

Netflix also picked up one nomination in the Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy category with Dolemite Is My Name, which was also nominated for best actor honors (Eddie Murphy). Other films in the category include Fox’s Jojo Rabbit, Lionsgate’s Knives Out, Sony’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (available now digitally and on disc Dec. 10), and Paramount’s Elton John biopic Rocketman (available on disc and digital).

Netflix also scored well in the TV category with its original series, led by “The Crown” and Unbelievable, each with four nominations.

Noms for “The Crown” include Best Television Series — Drama, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama  for Olivia Colman, Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama for Tobias Menzies, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a TV series for Helena Bonham Carter.

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Unbelievable was nominated for Best Television Limited Series and also picked up noms in that category for best actress (Kaitlyn Dever and Merrit Wever) and best supporting actress (Toni Collette).

The newly launched Apple TV+ picked up three nominations for “The Morning Show,” for Best Television Series — Drama and best actress honors for Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Other nominees for Best Television Series — Drama include HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and “Succession,” and BBC America’s “Killing Eve.”

Nominees for Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy were HBO’s “Barry,” Amazon Prime Video’s “Fleabag” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” and “The Politician.”

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television nominees in addition to Unbelievable include Hulu’s Catch-22, HBO’s Charnobyl, FX’s Fosse/Verdon and Showtime’s The Loudest Voice.

HBO was the top cable or broadcast outlet, with 15 TV nominations, second to Netflix’s 17.

The media duly noted the streamers’ success. “Is Hollywood a streaming town? The answer seems to be yes,” the Wall Street Journal remarked in its story on the nominations.

Variety echoed those sentiments, noting that the “nominations are a sign of a new world order in Hollywood, one that is increasingly dominated by streaming services.”

And the New York Post, in its typical blunt fashion, observed, “The 2020 Golden Globe nominations sent a clear message … to broadcast television: You’re toast. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC were completely shut out of the major-category TV nominations … with streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+) and cable (HBO, BBC America, Showtime) dominating the field of contenders.”

The 77th annual Golden Globes ceremony will air on NBC Jan. 5. A full list of nominees is available here.

‘Mandalorian’ Tops Parrot Analytics’ TV Demand Charts for 3rd Week

The Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” remained at No. 1 on not only Parrot Analytics’ digital exclusives rankings the week ended Dec. 7, but also the data firm’s overall list of TV series from any platform, including broadcast and cable.

A “digital exclusive” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

For the week, “The Mandalorian” registered 118.9 million average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. That was down 10% in expressions compared with the previous week.

DC Universe’s “Titans” stayed at No. 2 on the digital exclusives chart, with expressions down 13% to 74.7 million. The finale of the second season was released Nov. 29.

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” remained No. 3, registering 73.8 million expressions, down 3.4% from the previous week.

Netflix’s “The Crown” remained at No. 4 on the exclusives chart, with expressions down 21.2% to 37.5 million.

Another Netflix series, “Lucifer,” stayed at No. 5, its expressions down 7.7% to 29.1 million.

Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” jumped up from No. 57 to No. 6, with expressions up 126.4% to 27.7 million. The third season of the Award-winning series was released Dec. 6.

DC Universe’s animated “Harley Quinn” placed at No. 9 after premiering Nov. 29, up from No. 47. Expressions rose 97.9% to 27.4 million.

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The Demand Expressions metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital exclusive original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Netflix Employees Volunteer for Children’s Hospital Group

In a time of giving, Netflix employees in November raised money for Extra Life, a nonprofit that empowers video game enthusiasts to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The group raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care.

Brian Moyles, who has worked for eight years as a software engineer at Netflix in Los Gatos, Calif., organized the first Netflix Extra Life event in 2016. Moyles was inspired by his family’s own health scare in 2015 when his then 7-month-old daughter was unexpectedly diagnosed with a heart rhythm disorder and had to be sedated and placed on a heart bypass machine.

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The girl remained hospitalized in the ICU at Stanford Children’s Hospital for the next two months, during which time her vocal chords were inadvertently paralyzed and she had to be fed via a gastric feeding tube. It took several months for her to recover fully.

“We’re now four years down the road and everything has been clear since,” Moyles said in a company blog post.

Moyles said the ordeal changed him and his family’s outlook on the impact medical emergencies can have on children and their families.

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“Netflix, more so than any organization I’ve worked for, provides an incredible amount of freedom and autonomy in exchange for trust and responsibility,” he said.

Extra Life has become an annual event at Netflix. Last year, it raised more than $25,000. It reached $32,000 in 2019, involving about 100 employees, friends and family members across multiple office locations.

“This is real important work that’s going on here — the kind that changes people’s lives forever,” research analyst Austin Smith said. “It’s our hope that in some way, our event and our contribution will be used to ease someone’s pain on the most difficult day of their life.”

Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City reportedly used its Extra Life donations to purchase an Xbox One X for every patient room.

“Having a company like Netflix contribute to CMN Hospitals is absolutely invaluable to our mission’s success,” said Julia Saxton, Children’s Miracle Network Program Director at Primary Children’s Hospital.

Saxton said that in addition to funding, Netflix sent a message of support to the children and families.

Moyles says the Extra Life has helped him connect with employees in other departments and offices.

“It’s a lot of work but it ends up being a lot of fun,” he said. “I’ve gotten to meet and work with amazing people throughout the company I likely would not have otherwise, and it feels good to be able to help those in need and affect change.”

This report is based on a post from Kate Stanhope with the Netflix communications team.

Netflix Film Chief Talks Theatrical Windows, Viewership Data, Building Studio ‘From Scratch’

Netflix film chief Scott Stuber discussed his leap from the studio system to Netflix, releasing viewership data and the SVOD service’s theatrical model at the Variety Innovate conference in Los Angeles Dec. 5.

“The appealing thing was to do something from scratch,” he said of his joining the streaming service after a long studio career, adding that he “saw Reed [Hastings] and Ted [Sarandos] as decent human beings.”

The mission is to “evolve storytelling and give new voices chances,” he said.

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Variety editor-in-chief Claudia Eller asked about the service’s evolution on the theatrical window, from day-and-date on the streaming service to giving theaters a few weeks’ exclusivity, as it did with the Oscar-lauded Roma, and more recent award contenders such as Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Marriage Story.

Stuber said that Netflix has to consider the desire of its subscribers, which finance the business, to get the content as soon as possible.

“For that $10 [monthly sub price], do you get that content or do you have to wait?” he said.

He said giving Roma and other films from the studio a theatrical window only increased the appeal, noting Roma is still playing theatrically in Europe.

“We are sometimes categorized as anti-theatrical, and that’s not the truth,” he said.

Discussing the SVOD service’s legendary reticence to release viewership data, Stuber said Netflix would be more forthcoming in the future.

“No one’s afraid of it, and we really want to do it,” he said. “It’s just getting it right.”

He noted that some films theatrically are declared failures when they don’t meet a certain box office benchmark, but at Netflix they see a streaming audience not reflected in the theatrical numbers.

“I just want it to be articulated correctly to protect the filmmaker,” he said, adding, “You’ll see more numbers from us, more transparency.”

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Eller noted Netflix has a shot at a Best Picture Oscar with The Irishman and Marriage Story, which are getting rave reviews.

If that happened, “it would be big,” he said.

“I will be running around cheering.”

Panelists Discuss SVOD Services, Data at ‘Variety’ Conference

SVOD services’ design, data collection and effect on content creation were front and center at the Variety Innovate conference Dec. 5.

On the heels of its launch Nov. 12, Michael Cerda, VP of product at Disney+, told attendees, “What it really comes down to is building a really compelling consumer experience that’s easy to use that honors the content.

“We weren’t going to reinvent the wheel, but what you do is put touches in.”

That included putting buttons on the site with brand names such as Marvel, Disney and National Geographic that help consumers find the content they want.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” he said.

Households can have up to seven profiles, with kids getting buttons that appeal to them, such as “character sets like princesses,” rather than brands.

Executives also quietly tested Disney+ in the Netherlands for a month before its U.S. launch, he noted.

As for the much-reported glitches at launch, he said, “It’s software and stuff happens with software. You deal with it quickly.”

“Amongst CTO’s there’s a great deal of empathy for Disney,” said Jeremy Legg, CTO, WarnerMedia, who noted that its upcoming SVOD service HBO Max will be using human curation, in addition to algorithms, to help consumers discover content.

The services are using data and algorithms to better target consumers.

“All of us are using some sort of personalization algorithm,” said Lindsay Silver, VP of product at Conde Nast.

“We collect 100 terabytes of data every day,” added Jim Denney, VP of product management at Hulu.

That data is combined with input from such sources as surveys and ethnographic studies.

“You have to collect all these things,” Denney said.

Variety co-editor-in-chief and moderator Andrew Wallenstein asked if streaming services can gauge such things as interest “when Baby Yoda comes on screen,” referring to the new Disney+ original “The Mandalorian.”

“We do have real-time video analytics,” Cerda said. “You pay attention to this stuff.”

“You have to pick and chose what works together,” said Sonu Durgia, director, product management, search, Walmart Labs. She noted that someone who buys diapers might be receptive to content for young kids.

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The growth of streaming services has generated an explosion in spending on content, noted Wallenstein.

“We have crossed the $100 billion mark,” he said with spending in 2019 at an estimated $108.2 billion, according to the magazine’s research.

One content producer taking advantage of this explosion is legendary TV creator Chuck Lorre, who at the event explained how his “The Kominsky Method” on Netflix has changed how and what he writes. For one thing, appealing to the advertising sweet spot of those 18-49 isn’t a concern with streamers.

“You’re not concerned with how old the audience is,” he said. “You are determining if there is one.”

This allowed Lorre to explore a subject with “Kominsky Method” that he couldn’t on broadcast TV.

“I wanted to write about the minutia of getting old,” he said, as well as older folks’ “fears of being irrelevant.”

Writing for a streaming service without commercials also allows for different pacing.

“You’re not writing to an ad break,” he said. “You’re not writing to the ‘Perils of Pauline’ cliffhanger [hoping the viewer will come back].”

He compared watching a season of “Kominsky Method” to a four-hour movie or reading a book. Viewers can choose when they want to pause before continuing the story.

“In the Netflix environment, if an audience is watching show four, you know they’ve watched one, two and three,” he said, which isn’t true in broadcast TV.

“It changes the way the story unfolds,” he added. “It’s not so episodic.”

 

Parks: CBS Makes Gain Among Top OTT Video Services

Parks Associates Dec. 5 said SVOD platform CBS All Access moved from eighth place to fifth in its annual Top 10 list of over-the-top video services.

This list is based on estimated number of subscribers through October 2019 and was compiled prior to the launch of Disney+ and Apple TV+, and includes paid subscriptions.

Major League Baseball’s MLB.TV dropped from sixth to eight place, despite having gained subscribers since 2018. Sling TV remained consistent with more than 2.5 million subscribers and No. 1 rating among online TV services, which includes Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and AT&T Now (previously DirecTV Now).

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Top 10 US Subscription OTT Video Services
1 Netflix
2 Amazon Prime Video
3 Hulu (SVOD)
4 HBO Now
5 CBS All Access
6 STARZ
7 Showtime
8 MLB.TV
9 ESPN+
10 Sling TV

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“Competition in live streaming services is intensifying as several big brand names are competing for a small but growing slice of the OTT subscription base,” Brett Sappington, senior research director and principal analyst, said in a statement. “Consumers continue to sign up for multiple OTT video services. If this trend holds, many services can continue to grow as the market grows. However, a slowdown will suggest that consumers are finally drawing the line on the amount they will spend each month.”

Until then, Disney+ continues to generate headlines, acquiring 10 million subscribers upon initial launch, which would rank it fourth on the list, ahead of HBO Now.

“Their entry, along with Apple TV+ and other direct-to-consumer services upcoming in 2020, has been a major disruptor to the OTT space and will require all players from top to bottom to ensure they are delivering unique value to their subscribers in order to retain their base,” Sappington said.

Parks contends 71% of U.S. broadband households have at least one OTT entertainment product, such as a smart TV or streaming media player.
Nearly three-quarters of domestic broadband households now subscribe to an online video service. About 49% of recent OTT subs signed up through the service’s website; 33% through the service’s app; and 11% through a cable or satellite TV provider.

Studio Wars: Comcast’s Sky Building New U.K. Production Facility

In the burgeoning over-the-top video streaming world, original content production has become a prerequisite to lure consumers. And the physical space to create movies and TV shows in the United Kingdom is now a new cottage industry.

Comcast-owned satellite TV operator Sky has announced plans to build a Hollywood-style studio on 32 acres north of London it claims would employ 2,000 people and help it better compete against Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.

Dubbed Sky Studios Elstree, the facility would emerge as the European production base for Sky Studios and NBC Universal — corporate parent to Universal Pictures.

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“This was an opportunity to build something brand new, state of the art and at scale,” Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios, said in a statement. “It is a big enough site to attract very high-end production in both TV and film from all over the world. We are going to fill this thing with projects of all kinds. It means a huge number of new jobs and new investment.”

Sky Studios has created several hits, including miniseries “Chernobyl” and “Patrick Melrose” for HBO, and the pending “The Third Day,” a six-part drama starring Jude Law co-produced by the WarnerMedia subsidiary.

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Sky has said it plans to double spending on original content, reaching £1 billion ($1.3 billion) annually over the next five years.

Netflix earlier this year inked a long-term lease with Shepperton Studios to better produce original content across the studios’ 14 sound stages.

Disney then upped the ante, announcing it would lease legendary Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, U.K. — production home to many James Bond movies.

“It’s wonderful to have Disney here at Pinewood. They’ve been making great films with us for many years and the fact they want to shoot so many more here is testimony not only to the quality of the teams and infrastructure at Pinewood, but also to the British film industry as a whole,” the studio said in a statement.

 

Comcast to Discuss ‘Peacock’ Streaming Service Jan. 16

Comcast Corp. Dec. 4 announced it would host an investor event on Jan. 16, 2020 to discuss NBCUniversal’s plans for its new Peacock streaming service, including the overarching strategy for the platform.

The service will be both ad-supported and subscription-based for Xfinity and non-pay-TV subscribers. It marks NBCUniversal’s first proprietary branded over-the-top video platform after years of largely ignoring streaming video in favor of the pay-TV business model.

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With the rise of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, which Comcast owned a stake in, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke reversed longstanding indifference to OTT video after competitors WarnerMedia, AT&T, Apple and Disney launched proprietary platforms.

The meeting will be webcast live on at www.cmcsa.com and a replay will be available shortly after the event concludes.

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Study: New SVOD Players to Challenge Netflix, YouTube Viewing Domination

The reign of Netflix and YouTube as top online video destinations globally is under threat from a new group of over-the-top platforms such as Disney+ and Apple TV+.

With HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock launching next year, global OTT video viewership will be fragmented further, according to new data from eMarketer.

The venerable dotcom research firm said Netflix in 2018 topped YouTube as the most-watched video service, with average daily consumption reaching 23.2 minutes compared to 22.3 minutes for YouTube.

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eMarketer claims, beginning in 2020, Netflix’s daily video consumption will decline from a peak of 27% to 25.7% by 2021. YouTube’s daily digital video time will drop from 23.4% to 21.7%.

“Even though Americans are spending more time watching Netflix, people’s attention will become more divided as new streamers emerge,” analyst Ross Benes said in statement. “The video streaming landscape will get crowded, which will drive down the share of time that people devote to Netflix.”

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While increased competition may impact Netflix’s global ranking, usage among its subscribers is projected to increase, according to eMarketer. Average daily Netflix viewing time among adult users is projected to increase 2.2% to 56.6 minutes per day in 2020.

2019 was the first year digital video topped 25.4% of users’ total digital consumption, which includes time spent on apps and surfing the Web, but excludes social media.

“Video streaming is a mainstream, daily routine for most US adults, occurring on all devices and increasingly when viewers are on the go,” added analyst Oscar Orozco said. “In fact, an April 2019 study from OpenX found that nearly one-third of users of subscription streaming platforms say screen size has no impact on what they watch or for how long. Because of this, video will continue to be the main driver of digital media consumption in the coming years.”

Netflix Releasing 53 New Shows, Movies in December

Netflix is ending 2019 with a flurry (53) of new-release series and feature-length movies, including two highly anticipated titles not named The Irishman.

The three-and-a-half-hour mobster film from Martin Scorsese and starring Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro, launched in November, part of 73 new shows (“The Crown”, “The End of the F***ing World”, etc.) and movies Netflix bowed last month.

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This month the SVOD pioneer launches new seasons of “Fuller House,” “Lost in Space,” Magic for Humans” and “You,” in addition to a Kevin Hart documentary.

On Dec. 13 Netflix launches international action film 6 Underground, starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Michael Bay. On Dec. 20 the streamer bows “The Witcher,” a series based on fantasy novels of the same name.

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December 1
A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl
Austin Powers in Goldmember
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Cut Bank
Dead Kids (Netflix Film)
Eastsiders: Season 4
Malcolm X
Searching for Sugar Man
Sweet Virginia
The Tribes of Palos Verdes

December 2
Nightflyers: Season 1
Team Kaylie: Part 2 (Netflix Family)
December 3
Especial de Natal Porta dos Fundos: A Primeira Tentação de Cristo (Netflix Film)
Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah (Netflix Original Special)
War on Everyone

December 4
The Last O.G.: Season 2
Let’s Dance (Netflix Film)
Los Briceño (Netflix Original Series)
Magic for Humans: Season 2 (Netflix Original Series)

December 5
Apache: La vida de Carlos Tevez (Netflix Original Series)
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (Netflix Film)
Greenleaf: Season 4
Home for Christmas (Netflix Original Series)
V Wars (Netflix Original Series)

December 6
Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show (Netflix Original Series)
The Chosen One: Season 2 (Netflix Original Series)
The Confession Killer (Netflix Documentary)
Fuller House: Season 5 (Netflix Original Series)
Glow Up (Netflix Original Series)
Marriage Story (Netflix Film)
Spirit Riding Free: The Spirit of Christmas (Netflix Family)
Teasing Master Takagi-san: Season 2 (Netflix Anime)
Three Days of Christmas (Netflix Original Series)
Triad Princess (Netflix Original Series)
Virgin River (Netflix Original Series)

December 8
From Paris with Love

December 9
A Family Reunion Christmas (Netflix Family)
It Comes at Night

December 10
Michelle Wolf: Joke Show (Netflix Original Special)
Outlander: Season 3

December 11
The Sky Is Pink

December 12
Especial de Natal Porta dos Fundos (Netflix Film)
Jack Whitehall: Christmas with My Father (Netflix Original Special)

December 13
6 Underground (Netflix Film)

December 15
A Family Man
Dil Dhadakne Do
Karthik Calling Karthik

December 16
Burlesque
The Danish Girl
The Magicians: Season 4

December 17
Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America! (Netflix Original Special)

December 18
Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer (Netflix Documentary)
Soundtrack (Netflix Original Series)

December 19
After The Raid (Netflix Documentary)
Ultraviolet: Season 2 (Netflix Original Series)
Twice Upon a Time (Netflix Original Series)

December 20
The Two Popes (Netflix Film)
The Witcher (Netflix Original Series)

December 22
Private Practice: Season 1-6

December 23
Transformers Rescue Bots Academy: Season 1

December 24
Carole & Tuesday: Part 2 (Netflix Anime)
Como caído del cielo (Netflix Film)
Crash Landing on You (Netflix Original Series)
John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch (Netflix Original Special)
Lost in Space: Season 2 (Netflix Original Series)
Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020: Part 2 (Netflix Original Series)

December 25
Sweetheart

December 26
The App (Netflix Film)
Le Bazar de la Charité (Netflix Original Series)
Fast & Furious Spy Racers (Netflix Family)
You: Season 2 (Netflix Original Series)

December 27
The Gift (Netflix Original Series)
Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up (Netflix Documentary)
The Secret Life of Pets 2

December 28
Hot Gimmick: Girl Meets Boy (Netflix Film)
December 29
Lawless

December 30
Alexa & Katie: Season 3 (Netflix Family)
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened (Netflix Anime)

December 31
The Degenerates: Season 2 (Netflix Original Series)
Die Another Day
GoldenEye
Heartbreakers
The Neighbor (Netflix Original Series)
Red Dawn
Tomorrow Never Dies
The World Is Not Enough
Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures (Netflix Original Series)