Like all streaming services, Netflix is generally mum on their viewing statistics. But the company has just let out a bit of info to show that its awards contender “Beasts of No Nation” is finding an audience.
Speaking to Deadline, Netflix’s head of content, Ted Sarandos, said “this movie, in North America alone, has over 3 million views already.”
Sarandos noted that Netflix is focusing on making the film available to all 69 million of its subscribers around the world, in more than 50 countries.
He went on to boast that in the film’s first week on Netflix, starting October 16, it was the most-watched movie in every country in which the service operates.
This sudden reveal of in-house analytics comes on the heels of the film’s poor limited-opening theatrical release, in which it only earned $51,003 in 31 theaters during the same time frame.
- Cindy Ord/Getty Images
All the main theater chains boycotted the theatrical release as it was available on streaming the same day, which went against their agreed 90-day hold period between theatrical and DVD/Blu-ray/streaming release. The film was mainly shown at Landmark theaters, the largest chain in the U.S. for arthouse titles.
If “Beasts” had been released in a traditional manner, a film that to-date has earned only $84,000 in theaters that Netflix bought for a reported $12 million would be a disaster.
But Sarandos told Deadline that the Netflix plan is to give the audience every option to see the movie.
“If you want to go out and see a movie and sit in a dark room with strangers, it’s not an experience you can replicate at home,” he said. “But it is a very good experience, to watch a movie at home in 4k, in the comfort of your living room. That’s the way most people see their movies. It’s a very sexy thing to talk about whether there’s a feud, but I think what’s really happening here is that we’re offering consumers a lot of choices they didn’t have just a few years ago.”
The other reason Netflix put the movie in theaters was so “Beasts” would be eligible for awards consideration like the Oscars, for which films are required to have at least a limited run of two weeks.
As Landmark will likely have to take “Beasts” out of its theaters for other titles that will be more profitable, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix and its partner Bleecker Street are planning to rent screens in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco through December to continue the film’s award campaign.