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Netflix has been ramping up its movies lineup for months, with a mix of movies the subscription streaming service has commissioned alongside a list of movies that the company buys from studios and production companies to be exclusive to the service. A couple of months ago, Netflix put out the surprise release The Cloverfield Paradox, and despite the fun way the movie was briefly marketed before being unleashed right after the Super Bowl ended, it wasn't as well-liked as other movies in the franchise. Recently, Paraount COO Andrew Gumpert explained why the decision was made to release The Cloverfield Paradox via Netflix. He said,
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.
So, it seems the creative team watched the movie with Paramount and may have decided a movie theater release was not the best fit. Because studios split revenue with movie theaters and needs to be advertised prior to its release, a movie needs to make a certain amount of money in theaters before it even begins to make a profit. Working with Netflix helped negate some of those issues. First and foremost, Netflix gave Paramount a chunk of money upfront. Secondly, due to Netflix's unique marketing scheme, not a ton of money needed to be spent on advertising. Sure, Netflix chose to take out a couple of Super Bowl ads -- a pricey prospect. However, that pales in comparison to weeks of advertising on buses, billboards, TV and other platforms. It likely seemed to be a win-win deal.
Because Paramount was not confident in The Cloverfield Paradox's monetary value, Andrew Gumpert also said during the UCLA Law School's annual Entertainment Symposium (via Variety) that it all turned out well for everyone. Netflix got a big budget movie that was part of a popular franchise, as well as that aforementioned cool idea for marketing. And Paramount didn't have to bite its fingernails down worrying about whether or not The Cloverfield Paradox was going to make money. According to Gumpert,
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.
We previously heard that J.J. Abrams reportedly thought The Cloverfield Paradox needed some changes prior to its release, and there have been some specific criticisms the movie has gotten about the way its story was constructed. Despite the reviews, a lot of people seem to have watched The Cloverfield Paradox after the Super Bowl and in the days post-release, and 5 million people were estimated to have viewed the movie in the week following release. It's been an interesting experiment and we'll have to wait and see if Netflix repeats it. For now, you can see what original movies are coming with our full Netflix movies schedule.