- Netflix said that 52 million households watched "Triple Frontier" in the first month, and is projecting 40 million households to watch "The Highwaymen" in the first month.
- Both movies received lackluster reviews from movie critics.
- The massive Netflix hit, "Bird Box," was viewed by 45 million accounts in the first week, and Netflix can’t stop bragging about it, despite poor reviews.
Netflix’s biggest movies are its most mediocre, and Netflix can’t stop bragging about them.
The streaming giant said in its 2019 Q1 earnings report on Tuesday that two of its most recent original movies, "Triple Frontier" and "The Highway Men," were two of the service’s huge hits this quarter.
Netflix said that the Ben Affleck-starring heist movie, "Triple Frontier," which debuted March 13, was watched by 52 million member households in its first four weeks of release. It’s projecting "The Highwaymen," which dropped March 29 and stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as lawmen after Bonnie and Clyde, to be watched by 40 million households in the first month (Netflix defines a view as an account that has watched at least 70% of a movie).
Both movies received lackluster reviews from critics. "Triple Frontier" has a 72% Rotten Tomatoes critic score, and "The Highwaymen" is sitting at 55%.
Those numbers are in line with Netflix’s massive hit "Bird Box." The thriller starring Sandra Bullock debuted in December, and was watched by 45 million accounts in just the first week, despite a subpar 63% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. Netflix even mentioned "Bird Box" in the Tuesday report.
"Our original films effort built on the momentum from our Q4 blockbuster ‘Bird Box,’" the report said.
Netflix didn’t mention the performance of well-reviewed movies like Steven Soderbergh’s "High Flying Bird," which landed on the streamer in January and has a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score. The movie likely didn’t gain a wide audience.
The trend of Netflix bragging about its mediocre original movies started in 2017 when its fantasy-action movie, "Bright," starring Will Smith, drew in 11 million viewers in three days, according to Nielsen, which began measuring Netflix’s audience that year. The movie has a 25% Rotten Tomatoes critic score.
While Netflix never released official numbers for the movie, it did order a sequel, and CEO Reed Hastings called critics "disconnected from the mass appeal" after the movie was released. Netflix’s content chief Ted Sarandos said, "If people are watching this movie and loving it, that’s the measurement of success."
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