Will Smith's Bright was panned by critics when it came out. However, it might just be one of Netflix's most popular original movies so far.
The urban fantasy/buddy cop movie has been watched by over 11 million people within three days. The data that came from Nielsen also estimates that the Netflix Original movie also drew about 7 million viewers, aged 18-49, on connected television in the United States.
Directed by David Ayer, Bright is set in a world where humans co-exist with magical creatures. Smith, who played the role of LAPD's Daryl Ward, partners with the first ever Orc police officer, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), to recover a deadly weapon. A sequel is already in the works.
The movie was said to be the most expensive that the streaming service has created yet with a $100 million budget. But, was it worth it?
Is 'Bright' A Success?
Netflix does not release its viewing numbers and Nielsen has only started observing subscription video on demand services this year. However, compared to some of the streaming service's more popular titles, Bright had a promising start.
Stranger Things Season 2 remains to be the most popular offering yet. When the supernatural thriller premiered on Oct. 27, it drew 15.8 million viewers within its first three days of release.
Bright's premiere audience was a lot bigger than the second season of The Crown. Season 2 Episode 1 of the series starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith recorded 3 million viewers in the United States.
Variety notes that Netflix has disputed Nielsen's data. The estimates for Stranger Things Season 2 were off by a wide margin, according to the streaming service.
However, regardless of how many people watched the movie in its first three days, Bright did not exactly become the torch-bearer for the movement against racism. Critics slammed the movie, some even saying that it was one of the worst to come out this year.
It also received criticism regarding its depiction of race. Chance The Rapper aired his grievances over the "shallow" metaphor for racism.
"I always feel a lil cheated when I see allegorical racism in movies cause that racism usually stems from human emotion or tolerance but not by law or systems the way it is in real life," he tweeted. "The characters in [Bright] live in a timeline where racism is gone... cause we hate ork now."
I think the idea is that they're a step below bottom of the spectrum blackness. Which is why Will's character, the Mexican cop and the ork have that dialogue in the street. https://t.co/LaFMysw2WG
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) December 27, 2017
The movie did receive better reviews from the audience. On Rotten Tomatoes, Bright has an 89 percent audience score as of this writing. It also received glowing reviews on Twitter.
Critics crushing Bright when it was actually a decent movie stinks.. Feels very much like an industry agenda attempting to combat streaming companies producing major features. — Josh Eberley (@JoshEberley) December 27, 2017
Y'all told me Bright was the worst movie of 2017. Good thing I been stopped listening to what y'all say up here.
— b. (@ToneBizone) December 26, 2017
That new movie "Bright" on Netflix was a well needed dose of Sci-Fi, what an underrated movie. Don't sleep on Netflix. — Jane Fro (@bakedfineapple) December 26, 2017