Thinking Outside the Bird Box

January 8, 2019


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.

Why it matters

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

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.

by Jenna Lee,