'Bright's Success Helped Netflix Beat Earnings Estimates

Bright may not have won over critics, but it certainly did audiences. The Will Smith-starring film [...]

Bright may not have won over critics, but it certainly did audiences. The Will Smith-starring film helped Netflix beat earnings estimates as well as draw in a record number of new subscribers.

According to a report by Deadline, original fantasy/action film lead the streaming services' pack of original content -- which also includes popular titles such as Black Mirror, Stranger Things, and Marvel's The Punisher -- in giving Netflix its highest quarter gains in its history. Specifically, Bright was noted as being a major success for the company, leading to an increase in subscribers.

"In its first month, Bright has become one of our most viewed original titles ever," Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings said in a letter to shareholders. "We're thrilled with this performance and are planning a sequel as well as additional investment in original films."

If you are one of the people who hasn't taken the time to check out Bright on Netflix, the film is set in a fictional world where creatures straight out of just about every fantasy story ever -- like orcs, elves, fairies and the like -- live alongside humans. In the film, Smith's jaded LAPD officer ends up paired with the city's first Orc officer (Joel Edgerton,) and the pair discover a dangerous magic wand with serious implications for reality. The film had very polarizing reviews, with some enjoying the ambitious film while many critics had a harsh opinion of it -- including one that director David Ayers responded to perfectly.

That kind of reaction may just be what helped make Bright the powerhouse it has been for Netflix. Netflix added 1.98 million streaming customers in the fourth-quarter, hugely surpassing its 1.25 million expectation. And its growth that will result in more original content.

"We're growing faster than we expected, which allows us to invest more in original content than we had planned," Hastings wrote. "Given our track record of content investments helping to increase growth, we are excited about the growth in future years from the increased investments we are making in original content this year."

And that could include a Bright sequel. Netflix announced earlier this month that a sequel for the movie was in the works, though no potential release date has been revealed.