Can you upstage the Super Bowl? Netflix certainly tried their best when they released The Cloverfield Paradox in a surprise, sudden availability on Super Bowl Sunday. The third entry in J.J. Abrams’ anthology series about strange happenings saw its first trailer released during the game, advertising the release of the film at 11 pm EST that night. Media watchers and movie buffs were eager to see if the gambit paid off, if Netlfix was able to steal some of that Super Bowl thunder, and now we know the answer. It did not.
According to Variety, only about 786,000 people in the U.S. watched The Cloverfield Paradox on Super Bowl Sunday. That data comes from Nielsen, who expanded their analysis of viewership to three-day and one-week totals. In all, 2.8 million people caught up with Cloverfield within the first three days of its release, and a total of 5 million watched the film in its first week on the streaming service.
By comparison, the last Netflix original movie, the fantasy cop drama Bright, was viewed by over 11 million people in its first three days of release. Those numbers came from Netflix itself, which is typically skittish when it comes to releasing viewer data on its properties.
So what made the difference? Well, it could be that Bright received a much more conventional marketing campaign. It was known for months that Bright was coming out on its December release date, so anticipation was allowed to build. There’s also the fact that there was more fan excitement for Bright versus Cloverfield. While both films were critically reviled currently holding an 18% for Cloverfield and 27% for Bright on Rotten Tomatoes, Cloverfield has an audience score of 51 per cent versus 86 per cent for Bright.
Netflix paid Paramount Pictures $50 million for The Cloverfield Paradox, which was formally called God Particle. Paramount has another Cloverfield movie called Overlord in the can, but the studio will be releasing that film itself in theatres.
Meanwhile, there was more bad news for Netflix as their highly ambitious new series Altered Carbon seems to have delivered below expectations. According to Neilsen, 3.7 million U.S. households watched the first episode in the first three days of the series release. By comparison, 15.8 million people watched the first episode of Stranger Things second season in the first three days after its release back in October.
You can check out The Cloverfield Paradox now on Netflix. It was directed by Julius Onah, and stars Daniel Bruhl, Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and David Oyelowo.
Still unsure if the film is worth a watch? Read the NOFS review of the film HERE.