Netflix has signed a multiyear deal with Kevin Hart and his production company HartBeat Productions for four exclusive films starring Hart and first dibs on films the comedy star develops with his company.
Hart partnered with Netflix most recently for his comedy special Zero F**ks Given, which Netflix says was the “#1 Netflix comedy special in 2020,” but this new deal would bring the lucrative comedy star even deeper into the fold. Hart’s films have grossed a combined $4 billion in the global box office, according to Netflix, so taking advantage of that star power to draw users to the streaming service and keep them around makes perfect sense.
Relying on recognizable comedy stars has been a successful formula for Netflix. Adam Sandler’s deal with the company has produced films that consistently rank among the top of Netflix’s charts. Sandler’s films on Netflix have been so popular that Netflix has renewed its deal with the former SNL star twice just to keep him around. Beyond that, Hart and Sandler share a similar broad appeal, generally enjoyed by all ages in the US and fans around the world. As Netflix expands globally, films with stars who are recognizable everywhere become more and more important to keep growing its subscriber base.
Hart’s not without his controversies — most notably, a pattern of homophobic behavior (and tweets) that cost him a gig hosting the Academy Awards in 2019. The star has since acknowledged his mistakes, but Hart’s past remarks could be a concern for some Netflix subscribers.