With a global reach, and over 100 million subscribers tuning in, the Netflix footprint is as historic as it is staggering. No other movie studio in town can claim having simultaneous, instant access into homes all around the world. The industry is still figuring out the ramifications of what all this means, but on a fundamental level, it changes the landscape of what it means for a show or movie to succeed. Reviews are less important than sheer numbers; it’s why something like “Fuller House” can share the same space as “Mindhunter.”
This week, the streaming service goes blockbuster with “Bright.” It’s a fairly dumb looking movie, directed by David Ayer (“Suicide Squad,” “End Of Watch“), and penned by Max Landis (“American Ultra,” “Victor Frankenstein“) that basically presents a buddy cop movie in a world populated by humans, orcs, and fairies. It doesn’t look good and buzz is pretty bad, at least on Film Twitter. But does that matter? The answer is: not really.
According to Bloomberg, Netflix already has a sequel to “Bright” in the works, with Will Smith slated to reprise his role. So, what does Netflix know that the rest of us don’t? The data driven company is probably seeing that their users watch movies with Will Smith in it — simple as that. While he may not bring in audiences at the multiplex these days in his own vehicles, maybe through streaming is where his fans — who reach all over the planet — are catching up with “Collateral Beauty” or “Concussion” (or maybe they’re just watching “Fresh Prince Of Bel Air” over and over again).
“We do our show ‘Love’ for Netflix and they always say, ‘You know, any Adam Sandler movie, if we put it on in a country where it’s never run, it’s instantly gigantic.’ Like you could put up ‘The Wedding Singer’ in Peru and it just explodes. He’s really beloved around the world,” Judd Apatow said earlier this year about his comedy pal who has a multi-picture deal with Netflix. I’d wager the same is likely true for Will Smith. Sure, he might not register with you or your friends, but perhaps the numbers don’t lie about the many folks who continue to get jiggy with Will Smith.
“Bright” hits Netflix on Friday. [via Slashfilm]