'Bright' Scores Huge Numbers For Netflix In Opening Weekend

During the most recent episode of Cinema Royale, I went off on a small rant about the critical reaction to Bright, Netflix's hated-by-critics (but loved by audiences and John Boyega) fantasy cop thriller starring Will Smith. The film makes a slippery allegory to race relations using orcs, elves, and humans, but overall I found it to be a pretty fun flick. Even with the poor critical reviews Netflix was banking on it being a hit, and I posited that we would soon learn it was one of their biggest, if not the biggest, original movie they've ever had.

Well, the numbers are in and it looks like I was right.

Netflix doesn't usually make official numbers available, but ratings giant Nielsen has apparently figured out that 11 million U.S. viewers took in Bright over its first three days in release. Damn.  And that's before it goes international, where Will Smith is still a screen superstar.  At this rate we may see Netflix lock Will Smith into an exclusive deal, and before you chuckle at the idea just look at what they've managed to pull off with Adam Sandler. His movies suck but Sandler's terrible comedies are among the streaming service's most popular.

To that end, Netflix had the foresight to snag Smith for a Bright sequel. So it seems the last laugh will be theirs. [Deadline]