This Matt Damon flop is now making a splash on streaming

Matt Damon

A Matt Damon crime drama that flopped hard at the box office is finally making a splash on streaming. The days when a film could become a blockbuster based on the star power of its leading actor alone are arguably over at this point, as contemporary audiences tend to prefer a recognizable franchise or character over a marquee name on the poster. But that’s still the way it works on streaming as any middling movie with a big name star is bound to hit it big.

Right now, for instance, 2021’s Stillwater is proving to be a success with streamers after it totally failed to make an impact upon its theatrical release last summer. According to the latest from Flix Patrol, the Matt Damon vehicle — which also stars Abigail Breslin (Zombieland Double Tap) and Camille Cottin (House of Gucci) — is the ninth most popular title on iTunes the world over this weekend.

Damon plays Bill Baker, an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma, who travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter, Allison, after she’s charged for a murder she claims she didn’t commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, Bill builds himself a new life in France as he makes it his personal mission to prove his daughter’s innocence.

On the back of a slim $20 million budget, Stillwater still failed to recoup its losses, earning a mere $19.8 million globally. That said, it was generally well-received by critics and those who actually did go to see it. It’s Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 74% critics score, as well as a 72% user rating. “Stillwater isn’t perfect,” reads the critics consensus, “but its thoughtful approach to intelligent themes — and strong performances from its leads — give this timely drama a steadily building power.”

Stillwater now joins Matt Damon’s second 2021 effort as another box office flop that’s ended up succeeding on streaming. Ridley Scott’s historical drama The Last Duel has been similarly making a killing on Disney Plus.