Netflix – Bringing the big screen to your phone’s screen

Cape Town – Netflix might have started out as a Silicon Valley tech company, but they’ve long moved on from that definition since entering the content creation game. 

They first broke the TV mould in 2013 when they announced that instead of releasing episodes one-by-one they’d make all the content available to viewers on the same day. 

This caused a massive shift in how users consume content.

A data study from 2017 showed that the disruption even caused a change in viewing patterns with viewers preferring to watch comedies in the morning, dramas during lunch and thrillers at dinner. The data collected over six months drew info from roughly 77 million accounts per month and revealed fascinating insights never seen before. 

In December last year they threw yet another spanner in the works when they released a Hollywood blockbuster starring an A-list star simultaneously to a global audience. 

A future so bright

Bright, starring Will Smith, might have been slammed by critics, but according to an article published on Quartz, the film has been watched more than most other Netflix originals, movies, or series. In fact Nielsen, a leading global information & measurement company, estimated that an average of 11 million people in the US were watching Bright during any given minute over its debut weekend in December. 

If that many moviegoers had paid tickets for Bright, it would have earned close to $100m over its first weekend, if going by the average movie ticket price, AP reported. And Nielsen's tabulation is based on TV-connected Netflix viewing, and doesn't include those watching on their phones or computers.

Netflix doesn't release viewing numbers, but it said Bright has been its most viewed movie in all of Netflix's 190-plus countries. It called Bright its highest viewed original film ever in its first week of release.

This success has resulted in the streaming service announcing that it was already working on a follow-up film. With a sequel, Netflix hopes to turn Bright into its first film franchise — the kind Hollywood studios rely on.

Surprise attack

Just a few weeks ago Netflix again surprised everyone, when during the Superbowl they announced that they would be dropping a full-length film on the same night. 

The Cloverfield Paradox, the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise, was dropped on viewers without warning. Again critics didn't approve, but according to Nielsen statistics, five million people watched the film during an average minute in the first seven days the show was available. Three million people watched on average in the first three days of the Sunday night release.

Proving once again that Netflix is serious about bringing the big screen to your laptop, iPad or smartphone screen.


Of course the streaming giant isn’t only focused on blockbuster content. They’ve also been creating some excellent feature-length films that have made an impact and have earned them some serious accolades. 

In fact in 2018 Netflix became the first streaming service to land eight Academy Award nominations, including four for its feature film Mudbound.

According to Vanity Fair, Netflix bought Mudbound at the Sundance Film Festival last year after other distributors passed on it due to its lengthy run time (2 hours and 15 min) and tough subject matter.

Once again Netflix proved that it can take a big screen project and successfully stream it online. 

Only one question remains: Is Netflix gearing us up for a future where we’d rather watch a newly released film on a small screen than a big screen?

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