Will Netflix Surprise-Release Another Movie After This Year's Super Bowl?
No matter how you felt about last year's The Cloverfield Paradox, it's hard to deny the genius of Netflix's release strategy. After grabbing the film from Paramount, Netflix aired the first real trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox during the Super Bowl, assuring it was seen by millions, and announced that it would be available for streaming as soon as the big game was over. It was a unique idea that helped an otherwise forgettable movie turn into a trending topic, a huge win for Netflix.
Fast forward nearly one year and most of the conversation involving media this week is surrounding Super Bowl ads. Some have started to appear online and the trades are already reporting which big studios will look to make a splash with trailers. With that said, we have to wonder, does Netflix have another trick up its sleeve?
Netflix seems to thrive on films that get people talking online. Think about movies like The Cloverfield Paradox, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and Bird Box. All of them had a marketable concept and each generated a ton of buzz around their respective releases. (Bird Box of course had the added benefit of Sandra Bullock as its star.)
There is a method to the madness for Netflix, and the Super Bowl represents the absolute best time to capitalize on the social conversation. Seeing a buzzworthy trailer during the biggest sporting even in America is enough to get folks to buy a ticket to a movie months down the road. However, when that buzzworthy trailer is for a movie that's going to be free in just a couple of hours, the interest sees a massive spike. Since it worked for The Cloverfield Paradox, it would be difficult to think that Netflix would simply sit out this year, right?
Netflix has such a vast amount of movies in some stage of production, it wouldn't be surprising to see one get that surprise Super Bowl drop that we're all waiting for. But which movie could it be?
The easy answer would be The Irishman, a movie directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert DeNiro. This checks all the boxes Netflix needs in order to generate conversation. It's got a bankable filmmaker with A-list talent, it's already finished production, and people have been waiting for quite a while to see it. This would be a smash hit for Netflix if released on Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately, this scenario isn't all that likely when you consider that Scorsese was adamant about giving the film a limited theatrical release when he first signed on. Plus, with DeNiro and Scorsese on board, Netflix could generate plenty of buzz even without the Super Bowl lead-in.
There are entirely too many upcoming Netflix movies to try and break them all down, but there are two that seem a bit more likely than the rest.
First is 6 Underground, the action film from Michael Bay starring Ryan Reynolds. Not much is known about this film but it seems like the perfect candidate for a surprise Super Bowl drop. It has a big star that audiences (especially those watching football) already love, and a director with a big name that's not exactly known for making critically-praised films. This could be the perfect time for 6 Underground to appear, if post-production is completed, that is.
The other big contender here is a film called Murder Mystery with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Those two have had success together in the past, and Netflix could count on that to carry some big post-Super Bowl conversation.
There's no guarantee Netflix will release a movie this Sunday, especially after dropping the anticipated Velvet Buzzsaw just two days before. But it does remain a strong possibility, and fans around the globe will spend the next few days crossing their fingers.