One of Netflix’s biggest-ever movies sees its reputation take a nosedive toward nothingness

bird box
via Netflix

Not to sound too harsh, but Netflix hasn’t released a huge number of movies that will go down in the history books as eminently re-watchable classics, or even enduring favorites. They come along, spend a few weeks dominating the discourse, and then fade away into the ether of the vast content library, but it looked as though Bird Box had a chance of bucking the trend.

The streaming service touted the post-apocalyptic thriller as its single most successful in-house feature film ever in terms of cumulative hours viewed, a record it held until Red Notice exploded out of the blocks last year. It was also at one time the second top-viewed title in the platform’s history when it came to households who hit play, behind only Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction.

Bird Box

Then there was the viral Bird Box challenge, the promise of potential sequels, and the announcement that an entire franchise was on the way that would broaden the scope to tell standalone international stories focusing on how individual nations and the residents who dwell within handle the onset of the mysteriously malevolent force that annihilates the population.

Things have gone awfully quiet on that front, though, and it may have something to do with the fact that Bird Box‘s reputation has been gradually sliding toward irrelevance. To be fair, a 64 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and 57 percent user rating are hardly barometers of greatness, but the majority of comments on a Reddit thread blasting the movie for being terrible are in agreement that the success was based more on buzz than artistic merit.

It was a seismic success for Netflix, that much can’t be denied, but it’s beginning to feel as if the sentiment is slipping toward Bird Box being a flash in the pan that arrived at the right moment to seize the zeitgeist, because time isn’t being too kind at the moment.