Arguably, the biggest news coming out of this Monday’s Super Bowl was not so much the win by the Philadelphia Eagles or the numerous trailers that were released during its lucrative commercial window, but rather how one of the movies that was unveiled, The Cloverfield Paradox, actually released an hour later directly onto Netflix. It represented a massive coup for the streaming service for a film that was otherwise primed to make an impact on the Box Office.
It was a clever move, especially in keeping in tradition with the previous two JJ Abrams-produced Cloverfield films which relied heavily on viral marketing and surprise releases. However, a clever move isn’t necessarily a cheap one because regardless of who the brainchild was behind it, Netflix needed to pay original studio Paramount Pictures for what is essentially a loss of potential income for that studio not being able to release on cinemas.
And just how much was that price tag exactly? Well according to The Hollywood Reporter, around $50 million. And that amount of money doesn’t even make the film Netflix’s, as Paramount reportedly still retains home distribution rights as well as distribution rights to China. $50 million is definitely a lot of money to spend on a film for a television network, but you could argue that Paramount likely stood to earn even more had the film gone to the box office so was it worth it?
Well, the production budget for The Cloverfield Paradox was reportedly around $40 million and with Paramount not needing to essentially spend much money on marketing for the film, it’s likely they are walking away with a clear $10 million profit off the film straight away. Considering that despite the Cloverfield films having been massive cult favourites, they haven’t exactly lit up the box office. Throw in the inevitable extra marketing money that the studio would’ve had to pay to promote the film globally and you could argue that Paramount actually saved themselves some money in the deal. Doubly so considering the product turns out to be a little of a Cloverfield shoe-in rather than decent standalone film all on its own.
Perhaps the bigger question worth asking though is what is to come for the future of the franchise. Would a home on Netflix suit an extended universe like this or will Paramount take it on a film by film basis? Well, according to The Wrap, the plan is for Paramount to still release the future planned Cloverfield films through the traditional box office, with the reported WWII-set Overlord film, scheduled for a release date of 26 October of this year. Given the nature of this series and if indeed that film is part of the Cloverfield extended universe, I wouldn’t trust that release date at all though. Still, it makes sense for the studio to continue to pursue box office potential which can indeed be more lucrative and gives Paramount an opportunity to market it as a standalone film, with some tie-ins that will obviously only make sense to true fans who have watched The Cloverfield Paradox.
As for any further Cloverfield films, I think its safe to say that any film produced by JJ Abrams from now on that isn’t related to Star Trek or Star Wars could be brought into the Cloverfield Universe. While we don’ know of any others yet, the famed director/producer is currently involved in a supernatural drama titled Kolma which is set to star Daisy Ridley. However, that film doesn’t list Lindsey Weber as a producer, who has so far been involved with every Cloverfield film thus far, so it could also just be yet another J.J. Abrams move all on its own – or is it?
If there I one thing that J.J. Abram’s Bad Robot Productions and Paramount studios have at least gained from all this excitement about the Cloverfield cinematic Universe, it’s that pretty much every film they make together will get free publicity as fans find ways of guessing how those films could be part of the Cloverfield Universe.
Last Updated: February 8, 2018