Several sources are quoting a headline figure of $450 million Netflix has paid for the next two Knives Out films
By any analysis, $450 million (if true — certainly Variety is reporting it) is a lot of money to pay for two films. This appears to be just the rights, not the production costs, nor marketing, nor do we have any sense of cast costs, which always rise on sequels to successful films. And Knives Out was certainly that.
What was Knives Out?
Released in 2019, Knives Out was a very profitable, and well made movie. The plot (from Rotten Tomatoes) is:
The circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey are mysterious, but there’s one thing that renowned Detective Benoit Blanc knows for sure — everyone in the wildly dysfunctional Thrombey family is a suspect. Now, Blanc must sift through a web of lies and red herrings to uncover the truth…
The cast included Daniel Craig (James Bond) as Benoit Blanc, Chris Evan (Captain America) as Ransom Drysdale, Ana de Armas (Yesterday) as Marta, Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) as Linda Drysdale, Toni Collette (Stowaway) as Toni Thrombey and Don Johnson (Miami Vice) as Richard Drysdale. It was directed, produced and written by Rian Johnson. Both Johnson and Craig are returning for the sequels.
The film is very much in style of a classic whodunnit, complete with rambling manor house, family secrets and red herrings a-plenty. It cost $40 million to make, returning (according to Variety) over $300 million. Now this is comprised of a large theatre receipt, so will Netflix release this to streaming and cinema?
Is it a good move?
We’d hesitate to criticise Netflix, but can easily imagine the total costs for the two movies topping $600 million ($750?) once production and market are added. Craig is a big box-office name, and Netflix does release big films, but we will keep an eye on this project and see how it develops. And look at the Rotten Tomatoes score — 97% for critics and 92% audience scores. As yet it’s far too early for any real details to emerge, but it would seem sensible to look at 2022/23 for the first sequel. Hopefully by then the final Craig James Bond film will have been released!