Despite what the lousy reviews would suggest, Bright has apparently ended up being the perfect Netflix movie. You don’t have to pay specifically to see it, you don’t have to leave your house, and nobody even has to know if you spend the 117 minutes watching Will Smith be racist toward orcs and stuff, so it really didn’t matter how bad the movie was because it had social media buzz. Netflix will never reveal exactly how popular Bright turned out to be, but Deadline says the streaming service said the film was “a major success and drove a notable life” in subscribers, suggesting that a number of people actually signed up for Netflix just to watch Bright.
Netflix head Reed Hastings even said that the movie has become one of the service’s “most viewed original titles ever” in the month since its release, a claim that nobody could verify because Netflix won’t tell anyone its numbers, but apparently Bright was so popular that it helped buoy the service’s profits for the entire quarter—making the decision to immediately jump on a sequel a little more understandable.
Netflix even got this bump in revenue despite a loss of $39 million over “unreleased content,” which is the bland and corporate way of saying that the company lost a ton of money because of the projects it canceled or retooled in the wake of the allegations against Louis CK and Kevin Spacey.