Extraction: The Russo Brothers Reflect on Movie's Massive Netflix Success

Filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo are no strangers to their films earning massive success, with their latest producing effort, Extraction, resulting in a new type of success for the pair, as the film debuted on Netflix instead of in theaters. The Russos discussed how the entire landscape of streaming services is different from box office results and the metrics of those successes are measured differently, as the number of viewers who check out a film on the streaming platform would equate to the film itself earning an immense box office haul in a shorter amount of time than even the most successful of films.

“It’s interesting, they don’t do a lot of projecting," Joe Russo pointed out to Collider. "They’re very guarded with their information, which is a good thing because you don’t set expectations up and then not hit them. So I’m happy with that as a filmmaker there’s not a lot of tracking to either get your hopes up or dash your hopes. It just performs and then you find out how it’s performing. When you think about the amount of people and if you were to compare that to a box-office release, then that’s the equivalent of a movie making over a billion dollars in the market like that. But that’s a significant impression on an audience.”

In the film, Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a fearless black market mercenary who embarks on the deadliest mission of his career when he’s enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an international crime lord.

No matter what medium or platform a story is being told through, there's no objective metric that calculates a film's value as a story. However, debuting a film on a streaming service typically allows the narrative to be enjoyed by a larger number of viewers, which can oftentimes alter the lens under which a story is dissected.

“Sometimes it’s hard to talk about in relation to box office because there’s more external," Anthony added. "Those numbers are being released for an objective public narrative, and Netflix doesn’t handle things that way so it’s a little harder. But, yeah, at the very least we all know that it was a massive hit for Netflix. And like Joe was saying, it left an impression on our audience. I was just really grateful for that opportunity and that platform because it’s all about reaching audience.”

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Netflix confirmed that the film was successful enough that a sequel will be moving forward, which will see the return of Hemsworth and Joe Russo returning to write.

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