- Netflix revealed its most popular movies of the year on Monday, and “Murder Mystery” and “6 Underground” topped the list.
- The movies received terrible reviews from critics, but are far from the first critically panned Netflix movies to be major hits with viewers.
- In fact, Netflix’s content chief said in 2018 that critics were “pretty disconnected from the commercial prospects of a film.”
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Netflix revealed its most popular movies of 2019 on Monday and the top two received horrible reviews from critics. Based on Netflix’s history of critically panned hits, that’s not too surprising.
The Adam Sandler-starring comedy “Murder Mystery” was the streaming giant’s most popular movie of the year, followed by director Michael Bay’s action movie “6 Underground,” starring Ryan Reynolds. Netflix didn’t disclose actual viewership numbers, but had previously said “Murder Mystery” was viewed by 73 million households in its first month of release – it’s second biggest movie ever, behind last year’s “Bird Box.”
Netflix’s list is based on how many households watched at least two minutes of a title in its first 28 days of release (for “6 Underground,” which was released on December 13, Netflix made a prediction based on its popularity so far).
“Murder Mystery” has a 45% Rotten Tomatoes critic score on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and “6 Underground” has a 37% critic score. But this is far from the first time that critically reviled or mediocre Netflix movies have been major hits with viewers. Below are some other examples:
- Will Smith’s 2017 action movie, “Bright,” received a 28% Rotten Tomatoes critic score, but Nielsen estimated at the time that 11 million viewers in the US watched the movie in its first week.
- “Tall Girl” was watched by 41 million households in its first month, Netflix said in October. It has a 44% critic score.
- Netflix said that its Ted Bundy movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” was its sixth most popular movie of the year. It has a 56% critic score.
- “The Highwaymen,” starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, was watched by 40 million households globally in the first month, Netflix had previously said. It has a 57% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix said on Monday it was its seventh biggest movie of the year.
- Netflix said “Secret Obsession” was its 10th most popular movie of the year. It has a 31% critic score.
Netflix’s content chief, Ted Sarandos, said in January 2018 – soon after the release of “Bright” – that critics were “pretty disconnected from the commercial prospects of a film.”
Netflix has committed to what works for audiences. A “Bright” sequel is in development and the company renewed a four-movie deal worth millions with Sandler in 2017.