Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical. Sindhu Vee as Mrs. Phelps in Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical.
Cr. Dan Smith/Netflix © 2022

A Netflix original that caused an uproar by not being available on Netflix ends up as the streamer’s biggest hit in months

Please, make it make sense.

Not to get too philosophical right off the bat, but when is a Netflix original not a Netflix original? It’s not a question that comes up all too often, and you’d do well if you were able to guess that Matilda the Musical is the answer.

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The adaptation of the stage show that was itself the adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel which was itself adapted into the Danny DeVito-helmed classic that defined a generation back in the 1990s was produced, paid for, and largely distributed by the streaming service, which seems fair enough.

Emma Thompson Matilda the Musical
Image via Netflix

However, director Matthew Warchus’ acclaimed spin on the famous tale may have been rolled out on-demand in the United States and in many international markets on Christmas Day last year, but it premiered in United Kingdom theaters a month previously as a Sony release. Naturally, there were a lot of British subscribers left frustrated, confused, and furious that they couldn’t see it on Netflix, even though their local multiplex was right there.

After finally being made available to stream on Netflix in the U.K. on June 25, though, Matilda the Musical has only gone and become the company’s most-watched original in the country since Luther: The Fallen Sun landed in March, with Deadline revealing that it cracked the Top 50 across all networks and streamers.

It’s all worked out pretty well in the end for all involved, then, especially when you consider Matilda also managed to rack up $35 million at the global box office before retreating to Netflix’s content library forevermore.

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