According to multiple reports by news sites like Business Insider and Deadline, the online video streaming juggernaut Netflix has recently forked up approximately $90 million to purchase the exclusive streaming rights to the upcoming Will Smith film Bright. According to a story by Business Insider, it's the most the company has ever paid for streaming rights of anything, surpassing the $60 million Netflix paid for War Machine starring Brad Pitt, which is also set for a future release.
According to a story by Deadline, Bright's rights sparked an impressive two-week bidding war, which also included fellow entertainment enterprises Warner Bros. and MGM. In the end, however, the world's most popular streaming service won out.
In the film in question, Will Smith stars as a father and cop. The plot is basically a run-of-the mill action/thriller, only this one comes with a twist. The film takes place in a fantastical world which also houses mythical creatures like orcs and elves who try their best to fit in with human society. It even features an orc cop who serves as Smith's partner. If it sounds interesting, check out the film's first teaser trailer to make your decision for sure.
Bright is just Netflix's most recent attempt to break into the world of blockbuster films, as they begin to delve into the the concept of "day-and-date releases," which allows streaming services to release films the same day they debut in theaters. Likely, however, Netflix's victory here will cause Bright to see a limited theatrical release, as the business end of things from a theater perspective becomes less practical.
In fact, many major theaters like Regal have already denounced this release policy, with Regal spokesman Russ Nunley going as far as to state, "we will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3" wide on a smart phone. We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear," according to a story by The Hollywood Reporter.
Nevertheless, the prospect makes more than enough business sense from Netflix's perspective, as earning near-exclusive release rights to blockbuster films like Bright and War Machine, which star big names like Smith and Pitt, spells money for the company.