Netflix has done something audacious.
The third movie in the Cloverfield franchise, God Particle (now The Cloverfield Paradox), was put on ice for a few years. In 2016, people first read reports that it would be the next installment in the Cloverfield franchise, which started in 2008.
As the release date was pushed back from February 2017 to multiple 2018 dates, it seemed fairly obvious that Paramount wasn’t happy with the finished movie.
Then Netflix stepped in.
Reports started circulating that Netflix was going to buy the movie from Paramount. This claim was impossible to confirm, but wasn’t farfetched considering Netflix was likely to expand from producing original shows to original movies.
Netflix Goes All In
Netflix bought the film all right. And they dropped it on fans like a ton of bricks.
During the Super Bowl game, there was a 30 second commercial for the movie now known as The Cloverfield Paradox:
Here’s the kicker:
To everyone’s amazement, Netflix revealed that it would be released it for streaming immediately after the Super Bowl.
Whether or not the film is popular among critics, Netfix’s bold marketing strategy is a new one for the books. Not only are they changing the movie distribution game – they’re changing the way movies are marketed.
Movie Marketing is Evolving
As we’ve been seeing, even Disney has cut down on their marketing cycle significantly for their Star Wars movies. Many were anxiously waiting for Disney and Lucasfilm to release a Super Bowl teaser for the new Solo: A Star Wars Story movie that comes out in May. Typically the new Star Wars movies have an entire year to build a buzz, so this is a rapid turnaround since The Last Jedi was just released in theaters in December.
While that’s interesting and all…
Netflix generated a buzz and then released the movie immediately to stream, which is far different from the traditional movie marketing cycle. Netflix typically has shorter marketing campaigns, but they shaved the time down from months to mere hours.
NBC’s was using the post-game timeslot to air This Is Us – and Netflix was trying to take a big bite out of that audience. Viewers now had to choose which show they wanted to watch.
But Is the Movie Any Good?
Only time will tell how critics and viewers respond to The Cloverfield Paradox, especially considering that hardly anyone knew of the movie’s existence just 2 days ago.
If the movie isn’t received well, it might not matter to Netflix. They may have already recovered their acquisition and advertising costs by getting new users to sign up for accounts just so they can watch the The Cloverfield Paradox.
Regardless of the popularity of the movie, Netflix was successful at one thing – stealing some of the spotlight from other huge players. Disney, Universal and Paramount all had big theatrical reveals, but none of them were available to watch instantly.
Because of the instant availability and sudden release, Netflix absolutely came out on top.