Netflix’s $60 million Ridiculous 6 disaster

Still king of the hill

Still king of the hill

Ever know a movie is doing to suck before you see it? Do you continue through with watching it? Do you even go? Ever gone to a film thinking you’re going to enjoy it, then walk out half way through?

The chance is, you will have experienced at least one of those sentiments. Netflix’s new film The Ridiculous 6 had a sky high budget of $60 million, and is quite possibly the most expensive two hours of ‘entertainment’* it has ever produced. The reviews have been terrible, it currently sits at 9% on Rotten Tomatoes.

So I sat down and watched it. I got Netflix in mid April this year, with the express reason of watching Marvel’s Daredevil. I am a big fan of the MCU, so it was sort of required for me.

The most expensive Netflix project was Sense8, which I will admit I have not watched. It cost “over 100 million” to produce 13 50-60 minute episodes, so each hour of content probably cost $8-$10 million, more expensive than Game of Thrones (though not as expensive as The Pacific, which ran at a cool $20 million an episode).

The Ridiculous 6 is two hours long, and cost $60 million to make. It’s not impossible to work out that a single hour of content cost $30 million, making this quite possibly the most expensive non theatrically released content by hour ever.

Netflix doesn’t release viewing figures, they make that clear, but with an operating revenue of just over $5 billion, the Ridiculous 6 has absorbed just over 1% of its budget. A single, universally considered rubbish movie cost the same a series of House of Cards.

Direct to TV/DVD movies tend to be small, usually under $20 million in cost. They may, one day have a theatrical release, but the Network tends to accept it simply cannot make money off the release of that film. The model simply does not work.

Netlfix’s cancelling of its deal with EPIX shows its confidence in original content. The $1 billion a year saving, Netflix claims, will allow it to invest more in original content, and shows confidence in the fact that it believes people will come for the originals, stay for the originals.

Marvel’s Daredevil is, according to 3rd party data, the most watched Netflix original ever, and had the effect of adding a few million subscribers, who will promptly either leave or stay. Having the occasional massive tentpole tv series or film, like House of Cards, does attract viewers. Making them stay is more complicated.

And spending $60 million on a film that will raise no immediate extra income is also, frankly a bit stupid. Whereas a tentpole project like House of Cards drove millions of extra subscribers and will probably pay for itself (one day), it’s very unlikely that a film as utterly terrible as The Ridiculous 6 will.

That’s all from me.


There’s a tiny easter egg in this article. No prizes for spotting it.

 

Jacob

Write a variety of articles, when I get the time. Usually do more longform and analysis than I probably should. Also an editor.

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