We’re a third of the way through the year, but already, film studios are going to have to come up with something to beat the surprise that Paramount and Netflix cooked up a month or two back. Following much speculation that the film that became known as The Cloverfield Paradox was to be dropped into cinemas at late notice – as per usual, given that particular franchise – the rug was pulled when firstly, Netflix snapped up theatrical release rights. And secondly, when it suddenly, with no announcement beforehand, released the film onto its streaming service during the Super Bowl.
But why did Paramount abandon a theatrical release for the movie? Critics were quick to blast holes in it when they saw it, but that’s not stopped films hitting big before. However, Paramount’s Andrew Gumpert has now explained (via Variety) that “the movie was finished, we all reviewed it together with J.J. [Abrams] and his team. We all decided there were things about it that made us have a pause about its commercial playability in the traditional matter.”
“There was an ability for us to be fiscally prudent and monetize,” he said, using words film lovers adore. By that, of course, he meant selling the rights to Netflix. “For fans of Cloverfield, the fact is many, many more millions of people saw the movie. It’s a positive on every level.” Paramount made a profit. Netflix got a huge story and lots of eyeballs.
The plans for the next Cloverfield film remain under wraps for the time being. The Cloverfield Paradox is on Netflix now.