The currency of bingewatching: The millions Netflix pays for eyeballs
Many of us will have witnessed, or at least read about, how Netflix pulled a rather sneaky “marketing plan” upon the millions of Super Bowl viewers over this weekend with the release of the third installment into the Cloverfield franchise.
See, it turns out that Paramount had a last-minute freakout that the J.J. Abrams-produced movie, aptly titled The Cloverfield Paradox, would perish at the box office. In a state of panic, the studio turned to Netflix, who in turn pulled out the big guns and bought the mysterious flick for a whopping $50 million.
This last-minute buyout was apparent in the promotion – a trailer for the long-awaited movie aired during the Super Bowl, revealing that the pic would be available to stream as soon as the sports event was over. Yay?
Whether this was a cool move from Netflix (we’re saying nothing, but check out the reviews) or not, it’s obvious the streaming platform has a shit-ton of cash to muck about with – a stockpile of at least $8 billion. If the film turns out to be a flop or a flight, it’s proven one thing: Netflix has no issue shelling out eye-watering amounts of cash to snag the hottest projects on the market.
In light of the shock announcement which sent the internet into a frenzy, Film Daily’s looking at some of the streaming site’s most costly screenings to date. Some have grown into chubby cash cows, while others prove that it’s not just people who have more money than sense. If you can’t watch these shows in your country make sure you download a good VPN.
House of Cards: $60 million per season
Hundreds of millions of dollars were pumped into this baby, only for the lead to get ripped from his throne amid a series of questionable claims. If Kevin Spacey hadn’t turned out to be an (alleged) A-hole, Netflix could have continued milking this cow for seasons to come.
Sense8: $108 million per season
Netflix cashed in on this “bold” and “progressive” sci-fi series that carried enough cringe to fuel a first-time relationship fart. The streaming platform’s chief eventually decided it was probably, sort of, too expensive in hindsight. Whoops! Like all the regret of a Wall Streeter dropping a fifty in a puddle.
Narcos: $25 million per season
This one turned out to be a worthy buy for the streaming giant, and it only cost about as much money as Pablo Escobar would’ve burned to keep his family warm – baller!
The Crown: $130 million per season
Well, I say! Queen Elizabeth II costs big bucks in fiction and in-real-life, it would seem. Royal price tags all around.
Orange is the New Black: $50 million per season
OITNB turned out to be the very first Netflix binge for many of its viewers, offering an intricate look into the world of LGBTQI women. With five seasons and counting, that’s $50 million (comparatively) well spent.
Marco Polo: $90 million per season
Yes, Netflix shelled out a whopping $90 million for a show that made a $200 million loss. You do the math. This one should be considered a prime example of what happens when you fund a series that features entire episodes consisting of uninteresting characters sitting around doing nothing. A total snoozefest! ?
Bright: $90 million
Living proof that it’s impossible to make a stream of money by simply casting Will Smith in the lead. Apparently, there’s a sequel in the works . . . Lord help us all.
Death Note: $40 million
Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the beloved Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ôba stripped away everything that made the source material so special. Well, at least it only cost $40 million.
Okja: $100 million
Ah yes, because there’s no better way to critique the evils of capitalism than by accepting a $100 million check from the biggest streaming conglomerate in the Western world. Oink oink!
War Machine: $60 million
Would this film have ever been made if it weren’t for Netflix? Speaking of which, would any of these films have been made without support from the streaming leviathan? Questionable, but Brad Pitt doesn’t care – he’s too busy cleaning up America’s mess in Afghanistan.
The Irishman: $200 million
This film isn’t even out yet, but is set to be the most expensive of Martin Scorsese’s career. Still, with him in the director’s chair and Al Pacino & Robert De Niro among the cast, it seems like a somewhat safe bet . . . maybe.