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Netflix Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Jake Lipson

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Title: Glass Onion

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Comedy

Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Daniel Craig

Release: 2022-11-23

Plot: Benoit Blanc investigates a new mystery.
 

Jake Lipson

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Jake Lipson

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Yeah to Knives Out sequels! Boo to Netflix-exclusivity!

You beat me to this sentiment while I was writing my other post.

Seeing Knives Out in a theater with a crowd was one of the most memorable movie theater experiences of the last several years. It was also a really leggy successful film which connected with audiences over time. If we assume the pandemic has eased by the time the first sequel is ready, I think there could have been a lot of money in theatrical for these going forward. I understand that Netflix made a huge deal for this, but I'm surprised Johnson and those involved would move this to streaming after having had such a robust theatrical run for the first movie.

It seems like any big Netflix release gets attention for a couple of weeks and then gets forgotten about as more new titles get heaped on top of it, which is the exact opposite of the leggy run that the first Knives Out film experienced.

I'm delighted that we are going to see more of Blanc, but this isn't how I wanted these to happen.

Also, as much as I love Rian Johnson and Blanc, Knives Out sequels seem unlikely for Criterion Collection treatment. Thus far, Criterion is the only way that any fully Netflix-owned film has ever been released on physical media. Not only am I going to miss having the theatrical experience on these movies, but also this likely means that the terrific Blu-ray release of the first film won't get any shelf company. That's really unfortunate. Knives Out had a really terrific release full of quality bonus features, and that's not going to happen with Netflix.

So even though I really am happy to see this character again, I've got to say I have mixed emotions about this announcement.
 

Sam Favate

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I totally agree with Jake: glad to see it happening, disappointed that it’s exclusive to Netflix and worried that there might not be a blu-ray release(s). Still, good for Rian Johnson.
 

Jake Lipson

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The first sequel is said to begin filming on June 28 in Greece. I wonder what will bring Blanc there. It certainly will bring a much different locale and aesthetic than the first film had mostly being in the Thromby house.
 

joshEH

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Sure, I enjoyed Knives Out well enough (and was hugely looking forward to future cases for Benoit Blanc), but how does Netflix arrive at $450 million for two sequels? Obviously a big chunk for Johnson and Craig, but then what? Are they set in space? The original grossed just over $300 million globally, so what does Netflix see in it?
 

Jake Lipson

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More details of the deal from The Hollywood Reporter:

The Hollywood Reporter said:
Media Rights Capital produced the 2019 feature, while Lionsgate distributed. The film went on the earn a massive $311.4 million on a $40 million budget, with Johnson garnering an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. However, MRC and Lionsgate had rights only to the first film, with sequel rights lying with Johnson and Bergman, leaving the filmmakers to shop the films around.

The shopping became a duel amid streamers, with Netflix making a massive $400-plus deal, according to a source. There some other points in the deal, too. Johnson retains complete creative control with the only cast requirement being Craig, and there are no budget requirements. The potential for upside was too big for the filmmakers.

But the deals also shows the intense desire— rivals might say desperation— of Netflix to build and hold on to franchises as the streaming wars begin in earnest. Disney+, packed with Marvel and Star Wars offerings, has come out stronger out of the gate than expected, and HBO Max, with DC and big tentpole offerings, also trying to bite a piece of a limited pie. Paramount+, fueled by Star Trek and other brands, will additionally take swings at the dominant streamer.

The deal also leaves some bruised feelings as MRC believed it had a controlling stake in Knives seeing as it had financed the initial outing. Lionsgate also played a part in the success by rolling out a successful release strategy.

 

Jake Lipson

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The original grossed just over $300 million globally, so what does Netflix see in it?

In addition to the theatrical gross, the first movie sold $22.4 million of discs.


It has also been on and off the iTunes and Amazon rental charts during the pandemic. I think that this is a film that started well at the box office and has grown in popularity in the secondary market. Netflix gets to make a sequel to a movie that was very successful, and they get to be in business with a big movie star. I think it will draw a lot of eyeballs to their platform.

That being said, there is no secondary market for Netflix titles because they just keep the vast majority of them as perpetual exclusives. So in setting the sequel there, Johnson is potentially forgoing a lot of that business for the sequels in exchange for a big payday from Netflix. That's his choice and he deserves it, but It is a surprising one.
 

TravisR

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Sure, I enjoyed Knives Out well enough (and was hugely looking forward to future cases for Benoit Blanc), but how does Netflix arrive at $450 million for two sequels? Obviously a big chunk for Johnson and Craig, but then what? Are they set in space? The original grossed just over $300 million globally, so what does Netflix see in it?
You're talking about the company that gave Scorsese $200 million when every other studio correctly said that they couldn't turn a profit from the movie if it had a budget that big.
 

Jake Lipson

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Very odd deal.

It makes all the sense in the world for Johnson. I don't know his financial business, but this is such a large number that he might be getting paid more for this than he did for Star Wars. Good on him for going where he is going to get such a big check.

I think the reason this is surprising is because most people expected the sequel to be theatrical. I can't recall another situation where a first film that was a big success theatrically had a sequel snapped up by a streaming service. (Well, Trolls World Tour, but that was only because of the pandemic and not because it was designed for streaming.) I just assumed incorrectly that the sequels would be made at Lionsgate, which also released the first film.
 

TravisR

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It makes all the sense in the world for Johnson. I don't know his financial business, but this is such a large number that he might be getting paid more for this than he did for Star Wars.
Obviously, I have no clue but I get the feeling that most smaller guys like Rian Johnson or James Gunn or Taika Waititi who do their first franchise movie probably don't get the major check that established guys like Jon Favreau or J.J. Abrams get but the check that they get for their next movie is huuuuuuge because now they've directed something that made a billion dollars.
 

Tommy R

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I’ve been impatiently waiting for more news on this since they first teased a sequel, so I’m generally happy that it is still coming. I would prefer seeing it in the theater, but I’ll take what I can get. Knives Out was amazing.
 

TravisR

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It's a franchise that's well suited for streaming, because it doesn't rely on big spectacle...
That's the bummer to me though because this isn't a big $300 million franchise movie but people still actually went to the theater to see it. I want more movies like that in theaters.
 

joshEH

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"Worth" $450 million could mean a great many things. There could be built-in incentives based on views, and an option for a fourth film or TV series.

Still, Knives Out was a perfectly fine crowd-pleaser. I could stand a few more films like this each year. Netflix is now the destination for the smart, mid-budget, “adult popcorn” film, it seems. If Sleeping with the Enemy or The Fugitive were released today, they’d go straight to Netflix. I am shocked sometimes at how much those types of films grossed.
 
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Tommy R

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I read a while back that Daniel Craig’s character will have a completely different accent in each film. Did I imagine this? I loved his Frank Underwood accent from the first film, but this sounds like a funny idea.
 
Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

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