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The film industry has come a long way from the back lots of Burbank.
Hackman Capital Partners, a real estate investment firm, is gearing up to purchase a bevy of production studios in the US, Canada, and the UK, while Netflix is on the verge of acquiring land for a filming complex in New Jersey. The procurements come as movie and TV production continue to be some of the hottest investments around.
Hollywood (the industry) has exploded far beyond Hollywood (the neighborhood) this year. Great Point Studios opened its $500 million campus in Yonkers, New York -- the largest film facility in the Northeast. Athena Studios announced a 350,000-square-foot expansion to its already massive facility in Georgia. And Anthony "Captain America" Mackie closed on a 20-acre plot in his hometown of New Orleans, where he plans to build a studio.
The widespread expansion mirrors streaming's rise to one of the most dominant ways people consume entertainment. In July, for the first time ever, streaming outpaced cable and broadcast viewership. Disney+ gained 14.4 million new customers in the third quarter, and since 2018, Amazon Prime doubled its user base and secured 200 million subscribers -- and now they need to feed that beast. Hackman Capital CEO Michael Hackman told Bloomberg owning sound stages and filming equipment is critical to keeping up with the high demand for streamable content:
- Insiders told The New York Times, that Netflix is the top bidder for a 300-acre property on the decommissioned Fort Monmouth Army base in Central New Jersey. Netflix has not disclosed its bid yet, but the parcel was appraised at $54 million. The lot would be the company's second-largest production complex after its studio in New Mexico.
- Hackman raised $1.6 billion and has already bought Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York, and LA's Radford Studio Center where shows like Gunsmoke and Gilligan's Island were filmed. Hackman also plans to purchase properties in Toronto, Vancouver, and London.
Go back to Tinseltown: Even as streaming grows in prominence, Netflix is seeing its star power fade -- losing 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter and watching its stock plummet roughly 65% year to date – but stranger things are brewing as a group of Jersey locals calling themselves No2Netflix are fighting to keep the Blockbuster killer out of their town. They really must not be fans of "Emily in Paris."