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Netflix leaves hundreds of millions of dollars on the table with ‘Knives Out 2’ release strategy

Kate Hudson in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery debut

Eric Grunwedel

NEWS ANALYSIS — Netflix made waves this year when it announced that it would release several original movies with limited theatrical exclusives. It was a major move (or concession) for the world’s largest subscription service, which has been adamant about not taking on theatergoers in favor of a “streaming-first” mindset.

Netflix’s first major exclusive theatrical release was the film’s debut last weekend Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mysteryexpensive sequel to the 2019 box office hit Knives awayalso starring Daniel Craig as the clumsy-accented detective Benoit Blanc and making Ana de Armas a global star.

After spending a reported $450 million to secure the rights to a sequel and a third film, it seemed logical that Netflix would release the film in theaters solely to recoup some of those costs. But Netflix continues to ignore conventional wisdom.

Glass bow was released on fewer than 700 screens (!) at AMC, Regal and Cinemark theaters over Thanksgiving weekend, bringing in $15 million at the box office. Netflix has not officially released any financial information about the theaters. While the number was big enough to crowd out Disney’s disappointing animated debut Wonderful world ($18.8 million), the film could probably win the holiday box office right away given its wider release of 4,000 screens.

“They probably did about 25% of what they could have done, so maybe a $60 million opening weekend,” Michael Pachter, media analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, wrote in an email.

When asked about the company’s revised approach to movie distribution, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandas was quick to reiterate his opinion about theaters. Namely, that Netflix makes movies for its subscribers and prefers them to watch them on Netflix.

“I will tell you that we are in the business of entertaining our members with movies on Netflix,” Sarandas said. “So that’s where we focus all our energy and most of our spending.”

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This leaves Pachter scratching his head.

“Realistically, they probably focused on more urban theaters where the movie would have more appeal, and it’s likely that some fans were looking for ways to get to theaters,” Pachter wrote. “That extrapolates to $200 million – $250 million compared to the US normal, double the global rate, so $400 million – $500 million in total.”

That’s a lot of onions.

https://www.mediaplaynews.com/netflix-leaving-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-on-the-table-with-knives-out-2-release-strategy/ Netflix leaves hundreds of millions of dollars on the table with ‘Knives Out 2’ release strategy

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