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Netflix’s reliably terrible A-list blockbusters are always hits, so it’s only natural one of the best ever ends up bombing

Acclaim evidently means nothing when mediocrity is the key to success.

They Cloned Tyrone - (L to R) Teyonah Parris as Yo-Yo, John Boyega as Fontaine and Jamie Foxx (Producer) as Slick Charles in They Cloned Tyrone.
Cr. Parrish Lewis/Netflix © 2023.

You know the drill by now; Netflix unleashes an expensively-assembled and star-studded original genre film onto the content library, and it ends up becoming a viewership juggernaut that subscribers flock to in massive numbers for days, weeks, and sometimes even months on end.

The downside is that not many of them are particularly good, and a quick glance at the streaming service’s all-time most-watched list is indicative of the bizarre phenomenon. Jennifer Lopez’s The Mother, Dwayne Johnson’s Red Notice, the Russo brothers’ The Gray Man, Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, Michael Bay’s 6 Underground, and Mark Wahlberg’s Spenser Confidential have all cracked the rankings at one time or another, despite not a single one of them boasting a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

They Cloned Tyrone - (L to R) Teyonah Parris as Yo-Yo, Jamie Foxx as Slick Charles and John Boyega as Fontaine in They Cloned Tyrone.
Cr. Parrish Lewis/Netflix © 2023.

On the other side of the coin, They Cloned Tyrone dropped last Friday and immediately became one of the platform’s most acclaimed in-house exclusives ever, but bombed. A 93 percent score on the aggregation site puts it alongside Enola Holmes 2 as the best-reviewed splashy adventure to come along in years, but it only managed to crack the Top 10 in 28 countries through its first weekend.

It didn’t even take the number one spot on Netflix’s weekly calculations, either, while additional data (via What’s on Netflix) has revealed They Cloned Tyrone could only land the 16th-best first weekend among new releases in the United States, which is also the third-worst of 2023.

Based on how things have shaken out, then, we can expect mediocrity to fly high while genuinely excellent films like co-writer and director Juel Taylor’s genre-bender get left out in the cold.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.