'Annihilation' First Reactions: Phenomenal, Dazzling, Head-Spinning

Netflix‘s first acquisition from Paramount, “The Cloverfield Paradox,” crashed and burned. All the hype in the world, and a surprise Super Bowl Sunday release, couldn’t lift the stink off the movie, which circled the drain with critics and audiences. However, it looks like the streaming giant has a winner with “Annihilation.”

As you’ll recall, Netflix scooped up the international rights for Alex Garland‘s upcoming sci-fi film, with Paramount hanging on to the film in the  U.S., Canada and China. “Annihilation” will debut on the big screen in North America first, before hitting the streaming service seventeen days later. The decision to broker a deal with Netflix came after producers battled over the final cut of the film. David Ellison, the head of Skydance Productions, was worried that the film was “too intellectual” and “too complicated” following poor test screening results last summer. However, the film’s co-producer Scott Rudin (“No Country For Old Men,” “The Social Network,” “Lady Bird“) has final cut on the movie, and used it to allow Garland to deliver the movie he intended.

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The big question remains: is “Annihilation” another Paramount turd they don’t believe in, or simply a smart movie they can’t figure out how to market to a global audience? Going by early reactions, it looks like Paramount has a winner on their hands… and so does Netflix. Here’s what early viewers had to say — “Annihilation” opens on February 23rd.