Remember The Last Jedi? You know, that movie that mortally wounded the Star Wars franchise?
Rian Johnson, the writer/director of that “film” just got a whole lot of money from Netflix to make two sequels to his film Knives Out. Not exactly the trilogy he had been threatening us with, but let’s put that aside for now. And no, this is NOT an April Fool’s joke. We’re having a little fun today, but this headline from Deadline is not satire. It’s obscene.
I’ve seen Knives Out. It was pretty good, but not great. And I certainly don’t care enough to want to see two sequels to it. So $450 million dollars for two movies, even if Netflix released both theatrically as well as streaming them, is still very much a kind of crazy money.
Knives Out only made a little over $300 million total. Which means the studio got around 1/3rd of that. And there was actually a bidding war to make these two sequels. Rian Johnson is set to return to direct and Daniel Craig is set to reprise his role as Benoit Blanc.
Netflix grosses $2+B every month, but the streamer’s annual profit for 2020 was $2.76B. And while it seems to increase each year, we still don’t know how Disney Plus may have impacted their growth. Still, do they expect Knives Out 2 & 3 will increase their subscriber base enough to drop 16% of their annual profits on this?
Here’s what’s really going on. Hollywood is playing with other people’s money – probably China’s. So of course there can be a bidding war for this type of movie. The same type of movie that British TV did for 13 seasons with Agatha Christie’s Poirot or the folks who made Columbo cranked out at least once a month back in the 1970s.
Either way, this is not a sustainable trajectory. What can’t be sustained, won’t be.
I hope Rian enjoys his windfall, because my gut tells me such deals for “talent” such as his will be drying up in the next couple of years.
Originally shared here.