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Netflix, MoviePass and how technology is radically redefining the movie business

•, Rich Haridy

For several years, Paramount and super-producer J.J. Abrams teased a big-budget sci-fi thriller titled God Particle. Initially set for release in early 2017, the film was pushed back amidst rumors it was actually the third entry in the expanding series of unpredictable Cloverfield films.

Anticipation built over the course of 2017 until everything went quiet late in the year. Rumors began to swirl in January that Netflix was in talks with Paramount to buy the film. Then, in a remarkably paced turn of events, Netflix dropped a trailer for newly retitled Cloverfield Paradox during the Super Bowl announcing the entire film would be available to stream immediately following the game. 

This was perhaps the most unconventional and unexpected blockbuster film release ever. Social media lit up, people were excited. A big budget sci-fi film, teased for years and part of a major franchise, was suddenly available to stream on Netflix with virtually no warning. Never mind that the film itself was rubbish, and unsurprisingly sold off by Paramount, Netflix had got value for money out of its investment.

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