The big surprise to me of this past weekend wasn’t that my Patriots didn’t win. Alas, the big surprise was The Cloverfield Paradox releasing to Netflix right after the game.
Netflix was not playing around as they released a great franchised sci-fi movie that I would’ve easily seen in the theater, but instead, after two clicks, I was watching in the comfort of my own home.
The movie itself is excellent – great direction, a great cast, and a story that is starting to connect the other Cloverfield movies.
Up until now, Netflix has been trying to play nice with the theaters. Release some of the more critically acclaimed films for a limited run in places like AMC but the theaters have been resistant, and I’m not exactly sure why. I get that they want to have huge, tentpole style movies to fill their seats. But they’ve been sad about MoviePass bringing tons of people and allowing for more significant concession sales. And still, they complain.
But Sunday was a massive chess move sending a signal to consumers and the studios alike that their muscle is real. Virtually no marketing – the first trailer I saw was during the game. The internet had been abuzz last month as different subreddits were talking about the lack of marketing for a movie that was due in February.
Then the rumors started that the release date was changing and the Cloverfield movie was moving to the summer. And then the Netflix talk started. There was the talk of them moving in, buying the film outright. But even then, I had no idea that they would release it so fast without their usual fanfare.
Truthfully, I have no idea what happened, but it would appear to be a masterstroke of direct to consumer entertainment brilliance. Check out the movie if you’re into Sci-fi. I recommend it if you like Aliens, Event Horizon, and 10 Cloverfield Lane.