Despite the slow climb, we’re now learning Netflix reportedly turned down the opportunity to buy the flick after poor test screenings.
Netflix has purchased and bought distribution rights to various studio’s films over the past few years.
The streaming giant bought Paramount’s The Cloverfield Paradox and shocked Super Bowl viewers in 2018 by dropping the trailer during the game. They then took it a step further by announcing it would be available to stream at the game’s conclusion.
Netflix recently purchased Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle from Warner Bros (originally titled Jungle Book: Origins). It was slated for a 2016 theatrical release (shortly after Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book). However, it hit the streaming service Dec. 7.
However, despite picking up several larger titles, and producing a slew of original content of their own, Netflix reportedly turned down the opportunity to purchase Holmes & Watson, according to Deadline.
“We had heard for quite some time that test scores for Holmes & Watson were so bad that Sony tried unloading the movie to Netflix, but the streamer wouldn’t buy it,” Deadline writes. “The Culver City lot kept the movie and opted to do the best that it could do with it, selling down its share on the movie with Mimran Schur Pictures taking a minority stake.
“Holmes & Watson cost $42M net, per the studio, and if this film has any shot of making its money back, it has to be stateside and in English-speaking territories offshore (maybe Germany), which is where comedy works.”
Exclaim.ca reports the flick started filming in 2016, but Sony moved its release date four times due to poor test screenings. They also allege many industry insiders, such as The Wrap writer Alonso Duralde, echo Deadline’s claims.
“Netflix, which bought The Cloverfield Paradox from Paramount, reportedly turned down the opportunity to purchase the poorly-testing #HolmesAndWatson from Sony,” he tweeted earlier today.
Netflix, which bought The Cloverfield Paradox from Paramount, reportedly turned down the opportunity to purchase the poorly-testing #HolmesAndWatson from Sony.
— Alonso Duralde 🌹🌲 (@ADuralde) December 27, 2018
Check out the Holmes & Watson trailer below.
Holmes & Watson’s poor Christmas Day opening
Christmas is typically a huge day for movie theaters as many families make the trek to see some of the blockbusters that opened that day. Holdovers Mary Poppins Returns, Aquaman and Bumblebee opened late last week while Vice and Holmes & Watson kicked off Christmas Day, all of which looked like a huge day for business.
The new film reunited Ferrell and Reilly ten years after they won us over in Step Brothers(which currently sits at 55 percent, if you’re curious.) Directed by Etan Cohen (Get Hard, Men In Black 3), Holmes & Watson is a spin on the classic Sherlock Holmes story. The synopsis reads:
“Detective Sherlock Holmes (Ferrell) and Dr. John Watson (Reilly) join forces to investigate a mysterious murder at Buckingham Palace. It seems like an open-and-shut case as all signs point to Professor James Moriarty, the criminal mastermind and longtime nemesis of the crime-solving duo. When new twists and clues begin to emerge, the world’s greatest sleuth and his trusted assistant must now use their legendary wits and ingenious methods to catch the killer before the queen becomes the next victim.”
Holmes & Watson first obtained a green splat with their zero percent score, which was based upon 17 reviews.
Last night, Dec. 26, it was up to 24 reviews, and thanks to one positive take, it obtained a four percent score. Vulture’s David Edelstein became the first positive reviewer, of which he is totally aware.
“I should mention that the audience left the theater in a good mood, unaware (it was the 12:55 p.m. show) of Holmes & Watson’s Rotten Tomatoes score, which hovered for a while at 0,” he writes. “I’m happy to bump that up, partly because I cherish the Ferrell-Reilly team, partly because of that musical number. I also worry that we undervalue silliness as we fight the larger fight against ignorance and mendacity in all its manifestations. No brain cells are harmed by Holmes & Watson, just given a few hours to rest and regenerate.”
As of today, a second positive review by The Age’s Jake Wilson increased the score to six percent.
The low ratings make sense as it came in fourth Christmas day with an estimated $6.4 million. Aquaman topped the day with $22 million, followed by Mary Poppins Returns with $11.6 million and Bumblebee with $8.9 million.