This Netflix Movie Is One of the Most Popular on the Platform Worldwide. Critics Hate It

Scorned by reviewers and fans alike, this sci-fi saga cost $160 million to produce.

Rebel Moon Netflix
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Alicia P. Ferreirós

The success of a film is not always measured by its quality. A recent example of this is Rebel Moon, the science fiction saga created by Zack Snyder for Netflix. The first part of the saga, A Child of Fire, was scorned by critics, and it looks like part two,  The Scargiver, isn't faring any better. However, just like in 2023, which is when A Child of Fire debuted, the newest entry in the ambitious universe created by Snyder for the streaming platform is one of the world's most-watched films.

Looking back, A Child of Fire didn't convince Netflix subscribers, much less critics. Professional reviewers gave the film a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making the director's worst rating on the site. The sequel has managed to rank even lower, with a rating of 15% from critics. In this case, though, public sentiment has changed. Roughly 50% of the audience claims to have liked the movie, although their comments aren't the best and stand in stark contrast to those of professional critics.

During its first week on the streaming platform, The Scargiver appeared in the top 10 lists of most-watched movies in 92 countries, ranking number one in 27 countries. The sequel's release catapulted part one to the most-watched list once more, placing it among the top 10 most-watched movies worldwide.

However, the film’s reception has been disappointing, to say the least. Despite logging 44 million viewing hours on Netflix, The Scargiver racked up 21.4 million total views, which is less than the 23.5 million sessions achieved by the first film within a week of its release. The disappointing outcome for such a production reflects the disinterest in the sequel from part of the audience that did watch the first movie.

Even if it is ranked number one in the world, the sequel's reception doesn't bode well for the future of the franchise, despite Snyder’s desire to shoot six films.

Nonetheless, Snyder was proud and made a series of calculations about the saga during The Joe Rogan Experience, which attracted a lot of attention. The Rebel Moon director stated that A Child of Fire would be more successful than Barbie, the top-grossing movie of 2023: “Let’s say right now it has almost 90 million views, right? About 80 or 90 million accounts played it. It works out to two viewers per screening, right? That’s the kind of math. Then you think if that movie was in the theater, with their distribution model, supposedly it would be like 160 million people seeing it. According to those calculations, 160 million people at $10 a ticket would be 1.6 billion. So probably more people have seen Rebel Moon than Barbie in the theater.”

Now, the ball is in Netflix's court, which will have to decide if the numbers and reception of the two films of the Rebel Moon saga meet its standards to commission part three.

Image | Netflix

Related | The Ultimate Star Trek Guide: How and Where to Watch the Franchise in Order

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