INTERNATIONAL – Netflix is buying its first production studio, the New Mexico facility used to make “The Avengers’’ and “Sicario,’’ to accommodate its growing output of original movies and television shows.
The world’s largest paid online TV network is in final negotiations to purchase ABQ Studios, with eight sound stages in Albuquerque, according to a statement Monday. Terms weren’t given. Netflix already shoots the supernatural drama “Chambers’’ and the epic ‘‘Messiah’’ in New Mexico and previously shot its Emmy-winning series “Godless’’ there as well.
The acquisition further blurs the line between the streaming giant and a traditional Hollywood studio, with its sound stages, creative departments and theatrical distribution business.
While the Los Gatos, the California-based company will spend upward of $8 billion on movies and TV shows this year, most of that money funds projects made by other companies. Netflix, for instance, doesn’t own “The Crown’’ or “Orange Is the New Black.’’
Yet the online service has also quickly increased its in-house production, turning out popular hits such as “Stranger Things.’’
Los Angeles is the centre of Netflix’s burgeoning production business. Last week, the company said it leased a 13-story tower adjacent to its existing offices in Hollywood.
New Mexico offers tax incentives to attract productions. Together the state and the city of Albuquerque will provide Netflix with $14.5 million (R215 million) in funding. Netflix said it will create up to 1,000 jobs a year and spend $1 billion on production over the next 10 years.
“Our experience producing shows and films in New Mexico inspired us to jump at the chance to establish a new production hub here,’’ Ty Warren, Netflix’s vice president of physical production, said in the statement.