The trailer for What Happened to Monday?
Warning: This piece contains mild spoilers for Netflix’s What Happened to Monday?
Halfway through its major 2017 original film push, Netflix seems to have more hits than misses.
That’s not to say the company has had its Stranger Things equivalent; none of Netflix’s films has captured popular conversation as sweepingly as traditional offerings like Get Out or Baby Driver. Maybe the Brad Pitt-driven War Machine fizzled, but Okja and The Discovery became favorites around the Ars Slack water cooler, while smaller projects like Joe Swanberg’s Win It All keep hope alive that future Netflix films like the high-profile Bright (Will Smith and elf cops?) and the smaller Death Note (supernatural manga adaptation just released) can still deliver this year.
Critical wins and losses for these projects may be the headline grabber, but Netflix continues to grow as a film company in a less flashy, more traditional manner: as a distributor. “Netflix original” these days seems to encompass both films produced for Netflix with invested streaming money (see War Machine, Bright) and a bevy of films the company picks up after they’re previewed on the festival circuit.
Every major film festival these days is followed by a round of announcements where Amazon and Netflix engage in an arms war to snag the best and most unique content.
Almost precisely one year ago, the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival proved no different.
IndieWire proclaimed Netflix’s spending there “left few acquisition targets for traditional distributors,” as the company snagged things like a biopic about a young President Obama called Barry.
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