Netflix has raised the prices of its monthly plan in the United States and Canada. The plans now cost $1 or $2 more, depending upon the plans. The new pricing increase affects both new and current Netflix subscribers. Though for current Netflix subscribers, the price changes will be rolled out “gradually.” Netflix says it will email current members 30 days before the price hike goes into effect.
New Netflix USA Prices
The Basic price with no HD streaming (480p quality) now costs $1 more in the United States. The price has now risen to $10 per month from $9 per month. The Standard plan with HD streaming now costs $1.5 more, i.e., $15.50 per month from $14 per month. The price of the 4K Premium plan has risen to $20 per month from $18.
|Plan||New Price||Old Price||Difference|
|Premium (4K, 4 screens)||$19.99||$17.99||$2|
|Standard (HD, 2 screens)||$15.49||$13.99||$1.50|
|Basic (No HD, 1 screen)||$9.99||$8.99||$1|
New Netflix Canada Prices
Similar to the United States, Netflix is increasing the prices of monthly plans in Canada as well. The Premium plan with 4K streaming is now CAAD $20.99 ($2 increase) whereas the Standard plan with HD streaming is CAD $16.49 ($1.50 increase). The Basic Netflix plan with no HD streaming remains unchanged at CAD $9.99.
|Plan||New Price||Old Price||Difference|
|Premium (4K, 4 screens)||CAD $20.99||CAD $18.99||CAD $2|
|Standard (HD, 2 screens)||CAD $16.49||CAD $14.99||CAD $1.50|
|Basic (No HD, 1 screen)||CAD $9.99||CAD $9.99||CAD $0|
This isn’t the first time Netflix is raising prices in the region The company increased the price of the standard plan from $13 per month to $14 per month in 2020. Similarly, Netflix raised prices in 2019, 2017, and 2015. Netflix says that it has raised prices so that it can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options. In a statement to Reuters, Netflix said:
We’re updating our prices so that we can continue to offer a wide variety of quality entertainment options. As always we offer a range of plans so members can pick a price that works for their budget.
The change comes as Netflix faces fierce competition in the streaming space. With Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus adding more and more content to their library and gaining more subscribers, Netflix has had problems adding new subscribers. The company lost around 400,000 subscribers in the North American region during the second quarter of 2021. However, the price increase will be of no help.
Netflix doesn’t have the habit of dropping its prices after increasing it. So it’s likely that these prices will remain permanent.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Box Office Crosses $800 Million Milestone
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has grossed $803 million (Rs. 6,235 crore) at the worldwide box office, since its release in theatres on May 6, to emerge as the second-highest-grossing Hollywood movie of the pandemic era. The top spot, as we all know, is occupied by the Tom Holland-led superhero film Spider-Man: No Way Home, which raked in $1.89 billion (Rs. 1,46,766 crore) during its theatrical run. That said, the Doctor Strange sequel has outperformed films such as action thriller F9: The Fast Saga ($726 million), the James Bond thriller No Time To Die($774.2 million), and The Robert Pattinson-led DC film The Batman(($768.5 million).
Of the $803 million so far, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has collected $342.1 million (Rs. 2,655 crore) in the US and Canada. The remaining $461.1 million (Rs. 3,578 crore) came from nearly 49 markets elsewhere, with South Korea ($45.9 million), the UK ($43.8 million), Mexico ($35.7 million), and Brazil ($29.2 million) being the major contributors. The film, needless to say, hasn’t been released in China and Russia.
In India, the second Doctor Strange movie has collected nearly Rs.122 crore so far, overshadowing the Ranveer Singh-led Hindi-language comedy-drama Jayeshbhai Jordaar. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness might have benefited from the fact that it was released in India nearly a month and a half after SS Rajamouli’s Telugu-language period action drama RRR, and nearly three weeks after the Kannada-language actioner K.G.F: Chapter 2.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness remained in top position worldwide during the May 20 to May 22 weekend, collecting nearly $32 million (Rs.2,484) in the domestic market alone over its third weekend. It faced limited competition from the historical drama Downton Abbey: A New Era as the film collected $16 million (Rs.1,241 crore) to secure the second spot on box office charts in the US. This, however, is not surprising as the title, a sequel to the 2019 feature film adaptation of the period TV show Downton Abbey, caters primarily to older adults.
The second Doctor Strange movie is, however, not the only film to make headlines this week as the action-packed adventure movie Uncharted — also starring Holland — crossed the $400 million (Rs. 31.03 crore) mark worldwide while the animated adventure feature Sonic the Hedgehog 2 crossed $375 million (Rs.29.09 crore). While Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness still has enough gas in the tank to put up good numbers in the days to come, it will face competition from the Tom Cruise-fronted action movie Top Gun: Maverick when it releases May 27 in theatres globally.
Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness explores the concept of a multiverse, which was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe through the Tom Hiddleston-led series Loki and examined further in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Headlined by Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Xochitl Gomez, and Benedict Wong in key roles.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is playing in cinemas globally.
Netflix to Settle Tax Dispute With Italy for $59.1 Million, Opens First Office in Rome Hiring Over 40 Employees
US streaming service Netflix has agreed to settle a tax dispute with Italy, the company and legal sources said on Friday.
Milan prosecutors issued a statement saying they had settled with a multinational video on-demand streaming company for a period covering Oct. 2015 to 2019 and asked it to pay EUR 55.8 million (roughly Rs. 460 crore).
They gave the settlement figure without specifically naming the company involved but three sources with knowledge of the matter confirmed it was Netflix.
A Netflix spokesperson said the company was pleased to have the matter finalised.
“We have maintained constant dialogue and cooperation with the Italian authorities and continue to believe that we have acted in full compliance with Italian and international rules,” the spokesperson said.
Prosecutors had opened an investigation into potential tax evasion three years ago.
They claimed Netflix should have paid taxes in Italy because it relied on digital infrastructure to stream content to 2 million users in the country.
As a backdrop to the payment agreement, Netflix has now opened an office in Italy, setting up a base in Rome and hiring more than 40 employees.
The investigation by Milan prosecutors who argued that cables and computer servers used by Netflix amounted to a physical presence in Italy, had been triggered by checks conducted by Italy’s tax police.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
Stranger Things Season 4 Spoilers Leaked Due to Tie-in Monopoly Game: Report
Stranger Things season 4 is in the limelight for an unexpected reason as leaked images of cards from a tie-in Monopoly board game have spoiled key plot elements ahead of its May 27 debut on Netflix, as per a report. The Monopoly Stranger Things game can be “purchased fair and square” at a “national retailer”, according to a Reddit thread dedicated to the leak. While this is not confirmed, the fact remains that several retailers are advertising merchandise based on previous Stranger Things seasons to capitalise on the brand’s popularity.
According to The Hollywood Reporter report — which quotes a source close to the series — the Monopoly Stranger Things 4 board game was accidentally given the go-ahead mainly because of the “sheer scale and breadth of the Stranger Things franchising world.”
Stranger Things creators the Duffer brothers and Netflix are, not surprisingly, unhappy about the leak. In fact, the Duffer brothers are said to have had a “total meltdown” after the debacle, as they wanted to keep Stranger Things 4 plot details under wraps till the show’s premiere. They were, reportedly, also not consulted while developing the game.
Interestingly, Stranger Things season 4 is not the first title to be spoiled by tie-in merchandise. The Star Wars franchise faced a similar situation when the release of a Rey action figure with a lightsaber revealed a key plot detail from the 2015 space epic Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Such events are the reason that The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau didn’t allow manufacturers to design a toy for the character of Baby Yoda — or Grogu, as you prefer — till after the series’ premiere.
Netflix could have adopted a similar approach for Stranger Things — and it might still do so for the fifth and final season — but admittedly, it does hurt sales and allows third-parties to profit, as was the case with The Mandalorian for several months.
Stranger Things season 4 is touted to be “bigger and better” than previous instalments. In fact, director Shawn Levy recently revealed that it features some episodes that are longer than his two Ryan Reynolds movies, the comedy Free Guy and the sci-fi adventure The Adam Project. The Duffer Brothers had hinted at as much earlier, noting the Stranger Things 4 episodes are “very, very long.”
The first five episodes of Stranger Things season 4 will out on May 27 on Netflix, three years after the last season aired, with the remaining four arriving on July 1.
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