Seth MacFarlane is best known as the creator of Family Guy, but he’s built up a reputation over the last two decades as one of the busiest and most prolific multi-hyphenates in the industry, somehow finding the time to voice countless characters in his animated output that at various stages included American Dad, The Cleveland Show and his Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, not to mention live-action appearances in everything from Gilmore Girls to Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as releasing six studio albums.
At first, it looked like he would make a seamless transition to the big screen when Ted earned almost $550 million at the box office on a budget of just $50 million and scored an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, but MacFarlane has never managed to recapture that same kind of momentum in the years since.
Ted 2 made over $300 million less than its predecessor, while his anachronistic Western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West was largely panned by critics and could only manage a soft $87 million in theaters. However, Netflix subscribers look to have given the movie a new lease of life today, and it currently sits in sixth position on the streaming service’s Top 10 most-watched list globally.
The rankings have been throwing up a lot of surprises recently, and A Million Ways to Die in the West is just the latest forgotten title to prove inexplicably popular with viewers. Despite a star-studded cast that features Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson and Neil Patrick Harris, cameos from Ryan Reynolds and Ewan McGregor, along with Jamie Foxx and Christopher Lloyd bizarrely reprising their roles as Django and Doc Brown, respectively, there’s barely a genuine laugh to be found in what was a major misstep in MacFarlane’s attempt to make the jump towards becoming an established Hollywood leading man. But that clearly hasn’t deterred Netflix users, who’ve seemingly been flocking to it in big numbers today.