ESG: A Netflix Myth About a Blockbuster Debunked
An analysis of 'Red Notice' vs. 'Avengers: Endgame' reveals how the streamer's biggest film yet can’t compare in audience, long tail or cash to theatrical's big kahuna
By The Entertainment Strategy Guy
Last fall, Richard sent me this headline from Polygon and asked if this was true:
After my side stitch from laughing so hard subsided, I told Richard there wasn't enough data to compare them. But I wanted to try. Besides being widely quoted — the Polygon article was picked up by MSN and cited by the Telegraph — this equivalency-playing-with-the-big-boys narrative is one Netflix has themselves tried to push several times. Way back in 2018, Ted Sarandos himself tried to claim The Christmas Chronicles’ 20 million streams in its opening weekend was “the equivalent” of a $200 opening weekend. Then in 2020, he said this on Netflix’s third quarter earnings call:
“...we’re getting 70, 80, 100 million folks turning out to watch those movies in its first 28 days, which is like a $1 billion box office in terms of cultural impact.”
Sometimes, though, you get one piece of data and everything changes. A couple weeks back, Nielsen released their top films in 2021 list. Look at the last film on the list:
What’s that I spy? Avengers: Endgame? From 2019? That got me thinking. Maybe I could solve this Avengers: Endgame vs. Red Notice riddle. So I asked my friends at Nielsen if they could shed some light on non-streaming Avengers: Endgame viewing in 2021.