A big movie studio let it go.

Critics panned it.

But “Bird Box”, Netflix’s biggest hit to date, may show the film industry has its blinders on.


What Is Bird Box?

  • Book-turned-horror movie about mother protecting her children from unseen threat stars Sandra Bullock, cost est. $30M to make.
  • Premiered Dec. 21st, with one week limited theater release.
  • Netflix said recordA 45M accounts (30% of all users) watched 1st wk.
  • Bottom line:A ratings matter; most imp’t for Netflix is subscriptions (boost from Bird Box unknown).

aClassical measurement has either been box office or awards. This defies all of it. But creating a phenomenon is bound to translate into something.a

Susanne Bier, "Bird Box" Director, on the film's "unconventional success" flooding social media with memes & the "Bird Box Challenge" in which people wear blindfolds as the film's characters do. Netflix warns against it.

Why It Matters

  • Attendance in movie theaters is down.A Netflix’s foray into movies still new, but will couch viewership compete with theaters?
  • Film originally panned by movie critics.
  • Earned “R-rating” in theater, but no constraints in viewers’ homes.
  • Many artists rebuff Netflix, wanting a widespread theater release. Is this a game changer?



Netflix is eyeing the music industry, recently adding "Springsteen on Broadway" & Taylor Swift's "Reputation" concert to its offerings. Resale tickets cost $270 to as much as $40K/each; Netflix hopes not leaving your couch is incentive to sign up.

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