Netflix streaming's new movie selection hasn't been that great in recent years, and it's about to get worse.
On Sunday, Netflix announced it has decided to let its agreement with movie channel and online VOD service Epix expire. Netflix didn’t say why it wouldn’t partner with Epix any longer, but the fact that Hulu inked a deal with Epix a day earlier makes it pretty obvious. For Netflix users, the end result is that many of the service’s top streaming titles will evaporate for U.S. users by the end of September.
Movies set to disappear from Netflix include popular titles like Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Star Trek Into Darkness, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and World War Z—not the freshest of movies, but still big titles with major stars. For a complete list of movies leaving Netflix in September check out Decider.com.
Trying to put a positive spin on things, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a blog post that the company is well aware of its cinematic shortcomings. To overcome that, Netflix plans to do with movies what it already does with TV—produce original content you can’t get anywhere else.
In October 2014, the company tipped that it had a deal with Adam Sandler for four movies, the first of which, Ridiculous Six, lands in December. In October the war drama Beasts of No Nation starring Idris Elba debuts, and a Sofia Coppola Christmas flick starring Bill Murray also comes to Netflix in December.
Netflix’s deal with Disney will bear more fruit in the coming months as well, with movies from Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel heading to the streaming service. Agreements with Sony, Universal, and DreamWorks Animation will also bring movies such as Minions, Hotel Transylvania 2, and Home to Netflix.
The impact on you at home: It always sucks when Netflix agreements expire and content disappears. The deal with Epix has been a bit precarious for about two years, so it’s no surprise to see it go. If you really want to see those movies, the alternative is to switch from Netflix to Hulu. On the plus side, you’ll get all kinds of access to major network shows, but you’ll lose all the great Netflix originals such as the recent and highly regarded Narcos.
For the more daring among you, another alternative to a Hulu subscription is to travel the world via your PC and sample international versions of Netflix streaming. The end of the Epix deal only affects the U.S. version of Netflix and the movies you’re looking for just might be available in Canada, Sweden, or another Netflix country. We’ve got a tutorial on how to temporarily swap Netflix countries. Just don’t blame us if one day Netflix decides to bring down the banhammer on accounts spoofing their location.