“Driving folks to a theater is just not our business. Having big new desirable content drives value for our members and drives value for our business.”

Those are the words of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos in the spring of 2023, speaking about his company’s plans for its film division on a corporate earnings call. Netflix doesn’t make movies for theaters; they make movies for streaming — but they obviously play close attention to what’s popular in theaters, and they do their best to offer their customers a similar experience at home. Netflix began producing its own original movies in 2015, and for most of that time, making “big new desirable content,” as Sarandos put it, has been a significant percentage of their cinematic output.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the big new desirable content is always good.

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In fact, while Netflix churns out dozens of movies every single year — and while a fair number of them are as good or better than the things you can watch in a theater — they’ve often struggled when trying to adapt Hollywood’s blockbuster formula to streaming. A lot of their biggest films superficially resemble the sort of thing you’d pay $15 to see in a dark room surrounded by strangers. They’ve got big stars, bigger budgets, and loads of action and/or special effects.

Still, in many cases, some intangible ingredient seems to be missing. Or maybe several intangible elements, cause a few of these would-be blockbusters are straight-up awful. While it’s true that it costs Netflix subscribers nothing to sample these pictures, it’s worth remembering that some things are more precious than money. Like, for example, the time you would lose if you submitted to these dreadful Netflix blockbusters...

The Worst Netflix Blockbusters

On many occasions, Netflix has tried to make their own big-budget movies in an attempt to compete with theatrical tentpoles. The ten movies below were ... not their strongest efforts.
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