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The Old Guard is a massive hit. While Netflix movies define success in very different ways than traditional theatrical features, what's clear is that a lot of people are watching the new Charlize Theron-led action film and that the vast majority of them like it. There's already a lot of talk about sequels due to the popularity of the first movie, but the film's star admits she certainly didn't see any of this coming.
The Old Guard has been available on Netflix for just under two weeks but the current prediction is that the movie will have been seen in as many as 72 million homes by the time the film has been available for a month. That's a massive number, but Charlize Theron tells Variety that she never considered how big the movie would be while making it, and didn't ask anybody what the expectations for the film actually were. According to Theron...
I’m not that brave. I don’t want to hear predictions. No, thank you.
Certainly, if there's an expectation that a movie is going to be big, not knowing that is probably the right move. If you know that the expectations are high, that's going to put the pressure on, and that can potentially impact the performance. Clearly, Charlize Theron is not looking for that. And there's always the possibility that a movie won't live up to those expectations, so if you know what everyone thinks they're going to see and it doesn't happen, you have to deal with the disappointment that wouldn't be there otherwise.
It seems unlikely that anybody was quite expecting The Old Guard to do as well as it has. While "Charlize Theron kicking ass" is something that any rational human would want to see, and it is technically a "comic book movie" which is the most popular film genre in the universe, the movie certainly had potential to be popular "for Netflix" but this one really feels like it's even bigger than that. It seems likely that part of The Old Guard's success has come from the lack of theatrical competition. That doesn't change how good the movie actually is, but it may have helped more people see it and come to that conclusion faster.
Maybe some people had high expectations for The Old Guard,. but Charlize Theron wasn't one of them. She seems legitimately blown away by the response, saying...
It’s pretty nutty, right? It’s pretty crazy.
If this were a theatrical movie getting this kind of response, a sequel would certainly be in the mix and that seems quite likely here as well. While no sequel movie is official, we know that Greg Rucka who wrote the original graphic novel as well as the screenplay for the film adaptation, is working on a second book, and plans to make The Old Guard a trilogy, so follow up movies seem not only possible but, if The Old Guard continues to be successful on Netflix as expected, quite likely.