January 08, 2016

Is Ridiculous 6 a hit?

Adam Sandler’s ‘Ridiculous 6′ insulted some Native Americans. Now it’s Netflix’s ‘No. 1′ movie.

By Justin Wm. MoyerIts questionable politics and terrible reviews aside, “The Ridiculous 6″ is a certified Netflix hit. So said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos on Wednesday during a keynote at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“It’s also enjoyed a spot at No. 1 in every territory we operate in, and in many of them it’s still No. 1,” Sarandos said, as Variety reported. The publication reported the movie had “been seen more times in 30 days than any other movie in Netflix history.” This wasn’t the same as saying “The Ridiculous 6″ was Netflix’s most watched movie ever, but many did think so—including the film’s co-star, Rob Schneider.
Variety clarified the Netflix claim:Some outlets erroneously reported on Wednesday that “Ridiculous Six” was the most-watched Netflix title in history. A source later clarified: it’s the most streams ever in 30 days of release.Some Natives discussed this news on Facebook:I'm trying to figure out how this happened when it got horrible reviews and soon after disappeared altogether from the streaming for awhile. My first thought is morbid curiosity... people want to see how bad it is for themselves... I'm thinking not very many watched the entire movie. If it is as bad as the reviews claim the viewers switched to something else not far into it.

You're probably right, there. But how tin-eared can Netflix be trumpeting this? They are just encouraging other media companies to pursue race-baiting fare.

They are trying to beat back at bad press... salvage what they can for investors in future films... They have some other really good series. No idea why they would feel the need to lower themselves to crap like this.
My thoughts

A lot of the "acclaim" is based on what they're really claiming. Namely,the most streams ever in 30 days of release.For starters, that excludes all theatrical and DVD releases. Which is like 99% of all movies. It's a "hit" compared to other movies where streaming was the second or third avenue of availability. Or original movies released only via streaming.

How long has Netflix touted its streaming service: two years? What major new movies has it released in that period? As I recall, the service was light on major releases. No Marvel movies, Hobbit movies, Pixar movies, Oscar-winning movies, etc. Not until months after they were available elsewhere, at least.

The claim also excludes any movie that started off "slowly" but continued to draw views after 30 days. Imagine a movie--say, Interstellar--that's gotten 9,999 views for every month of the two years it's been out. Now imagine Ridiculous 6 getting 10,000 views the first month, because of its notoriety, and zero views thereafter. Netflix could still make the claim it made.

All this assumes Netflix isn't fibbing about its stats. For instance, the company could be referring to movies only it released, not studio movies. It could be referring to customers who began streaming Ridiculous 6, not those who finished it.

In any case...against limited competition, Ridiculous 6 got enough (bad) publicity to do slightly better than the runner-up for a brief period. That's about all we can gauge from Netflix's claim.

For more on Adam Sandler, see Netflix Buries Ridiculous 6 and So-Called Humor in Ridiculous 6.

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