Netflix bosses say critics of panned Will Smith movie Bright are 'disconnected'

Ben Arnold

Netflix has said that those critics who panned its new Will Smith movie Bright – and there were many – are ‘pretty disconnected’ from what makes a good film.

The movie found Smith as an LAPD cop in an alternate universe struggling with the appointment of the first ever Orc cop as his partner, played under heavy prosthetics by Joel Edgerton.

As an example of notices in the press, it was described as ‘laughable’, ‘a bloated, expensive mess’, and ‘astoundingly bad in virtually every way’.

“The consumer response to the film has been great,” countered Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

“Every internal measurement says it’s one of our most-watched pieces of original content – meaning TV show or film – that we’ve ever had. If you look at the [audience-generated] reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, you see positive experiences with that film.

“Critics are an important part of the artistic process but they’re pretty disconnected from the commercial prospects of a film. The way we look at it is [that] people are watching this movie and loving it and that is the measure of success. If critics get behind it or don’t, that’s a select group of social media influencers talking to a select audience.”

According to Nielsen, of its 111 million subscribers worldwide, 11 million streamed the movie on its opening weekend.

Such is Netflix’s satisfaction with the movie that a sequel is already in the pipeline.

Revenue from the company hit $3.2 billion last year, with a profit of $186 million in the last three months of 2017.

Read more
Stars remember Heath Ledger 10 years after his death
Protests erupt over Bollywood movie
Morgan Freeman tells of audience member at SAG Awards