Last week, the Netflix content news seemed all bad: a long list of titles would be removed from availability at the end of the year, so potential viewers had to get their binges in before the deadline. The departing films included Titantic, Braveheart, Being John Malkovich and dozens of others.
But, just as every cloud has a silver lining, the Netflix catalog changes aren’t all negative. Now that New Year’s has come and gone, it’s time to focus on the new titles added yesterday. There’s a partial list over at the Huffington Post that was confirmed by Netflix, and Reddit users have put together a more extensive look at the many newly available films, and sites like instantwatcher.com have even longer lists. Some of the best newly added titles include:
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- Bull Durham
- Mommie Dearest
- Raging Bull
- Thelma & Louise
- West Side Story
And, of course, there’s the movie that the Internet, collectively, seems most excited for: Good Burger, the 1997 All-That-sketch-turned-movie starring Kenan & Kel.
But why all the turnover?
It is, unfortunately for procrastinating movie-watchers, just part of regular business at Netflix. As a spokesperson explained to the Washington Post, individual agreements between movie distributors and streaming services are contracts for finite amounts of time, and those deals are “constantly” expiring or coming into play or coming back after once disappearing. The end of a year is a natural time for a contract to expire or begin, but that doesn’t mean the Netflix catalog doesn’t change regularly throughout the year.
In fact, Netflix fans with good memories will recall that last May saw an even bigger uproar over title expirations than this recent surge in interest. During the so-called “Streamageddon,” hundreds of movies went offline for the streaming service when deals with major movie studios were not renewed. Following unhappy coverage of that event — sometimes drawing on inaccurate lists of expiration dates — the company announced that they would no longer make expiration dates easy for outside websites to find and list. But that move has apparently made no dent in consumer interest in which titles are coming and going, and when. If this week is any indication, Netflix users will be following that news for a long time to come — when they’re not too busy watching Good Burger, of course.