In Sarah’s post about Netflix’s very bad week last week, she noted that one of the things that’s coming to issue with Netflix is that it’s really not a tech company, “it’s a movie studio” and also a television network. On the television side, Netflix is a smash. But that’s only 50% of their business. As Sarah points out, movie studios must produce hits and as a movie studio, Netflix has not matched their TV success. Even though they say that millions of subscribers have watched their biggest movie releases, those movies don’t have cultural impact. Consider Extraction and Red Notice, two of Netflix’s most popular movies of all time– I’ve watched both, I can’t even remember what Extraction is about, and while I saw Red Notice more recently, I had to look it up just now to confirm that it’s the movie starring The Rock, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot, and these are major movie stars.
With all that mind, Netflix this summer will release its most expensive movie to date: The Gray Man, starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. Also two major movie stars. Images from the movie, which will open in theatres July 15 and then start streaming a week later, were released yesterday.
The Gray Man reportedly cost upwards of $200 million to make. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the plan is for this to become a Bond-like franchise. And given all the gloom and doom of last week, it seems like there’s now more riding than ever on the movie. Will this be the blockbuster that Netflix is hoping for? Can Ryan and Chris, along with Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, and Dhanush deliver?
Speaking of Dhanush, he’s a major superstar in India, he has a small part in The Gray Man, and the photo of him from the movie that they released yesterday, from what I saw on my feed, seemed to have higher shares and likes than those of the big name western leads.
And Netflix will absolutely need the non-North American audience to push this if they want to achieve blockbuster status. Will they prioritise that audience in their marketing and put that audience on equal footing with western viewers? They’re actually among the leaders in the industry in this department and they’ll need to engage all of that if they’re to actually see big gains on the movie studio side of their business.
Yours in gossip,