Citing Nielsen data, Variety are reporting that The Cloverfield Paradox was viewed by over 5.0 million people in the U.S over a seven-day period, following its post-Super Bowl release. Is this number good? It does seem inconsequential when compared to Netflix’s last major cinematic outing – Will Smith’s Bright. This endeavour reached a staggering 11 million people in its first three days alone.
It’s worth noting that Netflix do not (apparently) hold Nielsen in high esteem; in the past they’ve pointed out that the media research organisation only covers the U.S and do not detect viewership on mobile devices or PCs, so they’re missing out a huge amount of global data. Annoyingly, Netflix also do not release their own viewing metrics, so we can’t exactly compare and contrast.
Let’s play devil’s advocate for a second and go back to the Bright comparison. This sci-fi crime drama cost Netflix some $90 million to create. In contrast, they purchased the rights to The Cloverfield Paradox for ‘mere’ $45 million and probably spent about $5 million promoting it at the Super Bowl. With this in mind, it would appear that, actually, The Cloverfield Paradox delivered a better ROI for the media streaming giants.
From a financial point of view, it looks like the whole saga has been a success for Netflix – and that’s without factoring in the amount of people that may have signed up to them after seeing the trailer at the Super Bowl (which brought in an average viewership of 103.4 million for NBC). The reviews for The Cloverfield Paradox may be scathing – it currently holds an approval rating of just 16% on Rotten Tomatoes – but is that actually going to bother the powers that be at Netflix? The cynic in us thinks that it probably won’t; financial viability usually trumps cinematic quality for studios. Since producer J.J. Abrams has already finished filming the fourth addition to the franchise (a WWII zombie horror called Overlord), we doubt he’s going to lose any sleep over the reception either.