The Gray Man. Ryan Gosling as Six.
Netflix didn’t wait until the opening weekend ratings for The Gray Man went live before announcing a sequel and spin-off. Now that the first international standards are in, it’s a little disappointing. Unlike the discussion surrounding Jordan Peele’s Nope and its “all-time best” $44.4 million opening weekend (which is usually good for an R-rated, star-lite, original live-action horror movie), the concept of The Gray Man only earns 88. million hours on Netflix in the first three days (about 43 million total views of the 129-minute performance) “feels” disappointing. The existence of Gray Man as Netflix’s most expensive attempt to create its own blockbuster franchise. Again, this is all relative, but it’s below what Red Notice (149 million hours) and Don’t Look Up (111 million hours) caught in their opening weekends.
It doesn’t mean that legs are impossible. Don’t Look Up, the Oscar-winning, Leonardo DiCaprio/Jennifer Lawrence disaster comedy, earned 152 million hours in its first week. Red Notice went from 149 million in its opening weekend to 129 million in its Mon-Sun opening weekend. However, The Gray Man is based on the popular action spy-lit series, stars Ryan Gosling (as a good spy) and Chris Evans (as an evil spy), and is assisted by the Russos (Avengers: Endgame). It’s telling that it got almost as many hours as Sandra Bullock’s action-lite, grimdark post-prison rehabilitation drama The Unforgivable. Let’s say it’s just as “leg” as Red Notice (364 million hours in the first 28 days after a 149 million hour opening weekend). In that case, it will end up just over/under the first month of Unforgivable (214.7 million hours) in total.
It opened just hours after Ryan Reynolds’ debut, the $115 million The Adam Project. The popular family opened with 92.4 million hours and climbed to 233 million hours in its first 28 days. The same episode of The Gray Man (which is PG-13 but not for children) will get it at 223 million hours in the first month. That’s right between Unforgivable and the $65 million-edited Takedown (231.3 million hours). The most advanced, however unlikely, legs are like Don’t Look Up. The Adam McKay-directed farce had the advantage of holiday legs (like Bird Box in 2018) and got 360 million hours out of the 111-million-hour hours (and 152 million hours in the whole Mon-Sun week). This would give The Gray Man 285 million hours, good for third place over Sandra Bullock’s $20 million-made Bird Box.
When you look at the hours of the opening weekend, the opening of the film is high but surprisingly not skyrocketing, even on the side or below some very cheap and low-profile films. The Russo Bros.’ The $200 million spy is an obvious attempt by Netflix to imagine the mega-budget of Hollywood actors. The film has its moments (Julia Butters almost steals the film), and most of the film’s budget seems to be on the screen against the requirements of the Red Notice. It still pales in comparison to No Time to Die, Mission: Impossible – Fallout and (the $75 million) John Wick: Chapter 3. That’s the problem with Netflix originals. They want to replace the theatrical competition even though many of their first movies are selling the “push the button and watch it at home” type easily.
RED NOTICE – (L-R) Dwayne Johnson is FBI agent John Hartley; Ryan Reynolds is the world’s greatest thief Nolan Booth; and Gal Gadot is the world’s most beloved professional thief “The Bishop” in Netflix’s RED NOTICE. Directed and written by Rawson Marshall Thurber; RED NOTICE is releasing on November 12; 2021. Cr: Frank Masi / Netflix © 2021
It’s good for one-and-dones, especially since Netflix’s main weapon is a pen so big that they can draw massive attention to original or new-to-you high-star vehicles that used to be Hollywood’s bread and butter. . But if you want to build a franchise, which can be turned into IP money, the films should be more than “I’m glad I didn’t see this in the theaters” or “It’s good because it was free on my TV.” While the audience was “forced to dance” to the odd idea of Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds in a light action-comedy heist caper, getting them to like especially the sequence of Red Notice would be more difficult. Ditto The Gray Man 2 or whatever form it takes, and why Bright 2 was always a bad idea.
The following ad is a bluff to sell the illusion of success. It is not a new scam. We’re waiting on Star Trek 4 (announced days before Star Trek Beyond), Wonder Woman 3 (announced on Wonder Woman 1984 Theater and HBO Max opening weekend) and any other “Studio says the next one is happening!” sequel to Cruella, Jungle Cruise, Green Lantern and more. A sequel was the (often unscheduled) confirmation that the audience saw and liked the movie. Now, in a world where distributors want everything to be a franchise and / or a cinematic universe (without proof that the audience wants endless spin-offs to the movie or show they saw and liked), the announcement before the sale of the idea is the success of customers. They greenlit the sequel, so it should be a hit!
Charlize Theron, Matthias Schoenaerts, Luca Marinelli, Marwan Kenzari, and KiKi Layne in ‘The Old Guard’
Netflix announced Bright 2, which hasn’t happened yet, while Red Notice 2 and 3 are still in “Ongoing speculation!” stage. We seem to be getting a sequel to Extraction, Murder Mystery and The Old Guard. The forces of the Dead found the forces of Thieves nearby. We’ll see if we get the promised Planet of the Dead. Save those cheap and youth-skewing romantic comedies; usually there is a gap between the Netflix type of film to get a notification that is a series and a series being made. It’s another example of a streaming giant/disruption taking a page from the standard Hollywood playbook. On the other hand, Sea Beast got 135 million hours in 16 days from the 33-hour weekend. It may be worth watching as audiences dig beyond “Hey, that’s what’s new on Netflix this week.”
If Netflix was happy with The Gray Man getting opening weekend ratings comparable to Adam Sandler’s (very good) basketball player Hustle (85 million hours) or 365 Days: Today (77 million hours for the 109-minute Polish erotic sequel to 365 Days. ), they would have waited until the numbers drop before they announce the next one. Instead, they released the message this morning. The news dominated the news cycle and completely eclipsed what was essentially a “good as expected” start rating. Maybe they know that Monday’s ratings are high enough, so it will come out this week. Perhaps they hope that the word of the franchise will encourage the curious to check it out. But make no mistake, the announcement of a sequel and spin-off of The Gray Man is not an affirmation but an illusion of success.
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