On Super Bowl Sunday, audiences were given a treat in the form of a brand-new Cloverfield movie, The Cloverfield Paradox. The trailer for the film aired during the game, letting audiences know that the film would be available to watch in its entirety immediately following.
It was seen as sort of a cool way to drop movies. How amazing is it to actually see a trailer for a Hollywood-style movie just hours before it drops? Though while the idea and execution were pretty nifty on a marketing front, the film itself wasn’t exactly Oscar-worthy. While some audiences appreciated it, a good number of them thought the film fell short.
Now, the idea of it being dropped onto Netflix felt less like Paramount experimenting with new means of distribution, and more like them tossing away a turkey of a film. This doesn’t exactly seem far from the truth as Paramount Pictures COO Andrew Gumpert revealed to Variety:
“The movie was finished, we all reviewed it together with J.J. and his team. We all decided there were things about it that made us have a pause about its commercial playability in the traditional matter. There was an ability for us to be fiscally prudent and monetize. For fans of Cloverfield, the fact is many, many more millions of people saw the movie. It’s a positive on every level.”
“Commercial playability in the traditional manner?” Is this a code for, the movie sucks and we need to recoup our costs? That is one way to read it, but the other could be that the film doesn’t necessarily fall under the easily marketable, and easy-to-digest structure and style audiences have been conditioned to love. It’s one of the great things about Netflix in that it gives filmmakers an opportunity to breathe.
At the end of the day, the $40-$50M-budgeted film needed to recoup its costs somehow, and at the end of the day, dropping it onto Netflix seemed like the best way to go!
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