“Netflix is hoping to learn some new tricks from an old dog,” reported the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.
“The streaming video behemoth has acquired the rights to a new 2018 version of the classic family film Benji, featuring the canine character that became an unlikely box-office sensation in the 1970s and ’80s. After this film premiers in March the company has the option to partner on sequels or a TV series, furthering its venture into family programming.”
Brandon Camp, the youngest son of Benji creator Joe Camp, said, “Netflix is the ideal alternative for families who want to watch engaging, inspiring films with their kids and kids who want to watch them over and over.” The younger Camp wrote and directed the new Benji film, number six for the floppy-eared star.
“If you are an owner of family-oriented premium content that has any kind of brand or franchise value, you are in a great position right now,” said Peter Csathy, chairman of the tech advisory firm Creatv Media. “The war is on and it’s all about amassing the largest army of compelling franchises that you can.”
“Benji’s journey into streaming offers a lesson in deal making in the Netflix era,” the Times article continued.
“People all over the world grew up having watched Benji with their families,” Scott Stuber, head of original film at Netflix, said in a statement to the Times. “We knew this film will allow our members around the world to keep sharing this story with their families.”
“In our release of the original Benji adult ticket sales out-numbered kid tickets by a figure of 2:1,” Joe Camp added. “Benji’s movies are truly enjoyed by all ages, but in Los Angeles today it can cost as much as $125 for a family of five to go to the movies. We believe that family streaming is the future and we’re very proud that Netflix has chosen Benji to lead this charge.”