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Netflix’s Atlas Has Found Success on Netflix Despite the Terrible Reviews FSalinks

Summary

  • The Jennifer Lopez-led sci-fi action film
    Atlas
    earned 28.2 million views on Netflix despite low ratings.
  • AI and technology are hot topics;
    Atlas
    explores both the dangers and benefits of artificial intelligence.
  • Jennifer Lopez’s international appeal and Netflix success make her a valuable asset for future projects.



Another week, another Netflix film with less-than-stellar reviews seemed to find an audience. This time, it’s the Jennifer Lopez-led science fiction action film Atlas, which has a rotten score of 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. The platform seemingly ignored those subpar notices by boasting that the movie was a big hit over the Memorial Day holiday, currently racking up 28.2 million views during its premiere weekend.

The performance of Atlas is highlighted more by the recent box office debuts of films like The Fall Guy or Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, which came in lower than expectations but secured much better reviews from critics. Why has the JLO sci-fi action artificial intelligence fest fared better? Let’s dive in!


The Concept of Netflix’s Atlas Film


Directed by Brad Peyton and written by Leo Sardarian and Aron Eli Coleite, Atlas takes on the rather topical concept of AI (artificial intelligence) through the eyes of Atlas Shepherd (Lopez), an analyst who doesn’t have much faith in it. Atlas’ distrust is warranted, given that AI once declared war on humanity. Leading that charge was Harlan (Simu Liu), an AI robot who was in charge of a rebellion 28 years prior that left 3 million deceased humans in his wake.

Military forces ultimately fought back, leading to Harlan fleeing the planet. Now, he has sent more of his robots back to Earth to continue his war. Atlas soon finds herself on a mission to capture Harlan, but when things don’t go as planned, the only thing she can trust to survive is the very AI they’re up against.


Artificial Intelligence Has Been a Big Talking Point Lately

The big interest in Atlas could be that AI has recently been a big part of the conversation. Some industries are frightened by it and afraid that it may take their jobs, which is very prevalent in entertainment. During the WGA and SAG strikes last year, protection regarding AI was a huge sticking point in negotiations. The talent believed that the technology could seemingly replace their likeness or work, while studios, networks, and streamers saw its use from a financially viable place. Arguments from both sides talked about why AI was frightening or why it was a future that simply couldn’t be ignored.


Atlas makes an argument for both cases. AI could become so dangerous and self-aware that it could destroy us, but it also maintains that it can be used for good. The film isn’t filled with deep, thought-provoking ideas on the matter, but its surface-level attempts could be just enough to spark conversation among viewers. It’s a topic that has been in the news daily, and when a big Hollywood film appears to be taking it on, it’s bound to garner a bit of interest.

The Accessibility of Netflix

It feels like this next notion is beating a dead horse, but the accessibility of Netflix is something that allows their films to at least premiere as well as they do. Sitting at home and kicking back to watch Atlas at home is likely much easier than gathering buddies to check out The Fall Guy or the latest box office tentpole at the local movie theater. While Netflix will boast about the 28.2 million views from Atlas’ opening weekend on the streamer, that achievement doesn’t appear all that hard, given that the platform has about 270 million subscribers globally. That makes many curious viewers inclined to watch whatever the new Netflix movie of the moment might be.


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If Atlas had opened in movie theaters nationwide over the weekend, rather than exclusively on Netflix, the overwhelming narrative likely would’ve been its lackluster box office debut. Bad reviews would’ve kept most moviegoers away from this one on the big screen, as they would’ve been more inclined to check Atlas out when it hit digital and VOD just a few weeks later. The fact of the matter is that Atlas looks like a film that was made for Netflix and home consumption.


Likely, this wouldn’t have turned into a box-office hit if audiences had to pay the price of admission to see it. It all comes down to weighing potential wins and losses for the audience. Should they watch Atlas at home and find that they didn’t enjoy it, they can quickly move on to another film on the platform. The sting of the movie being a misfire would hurt much more if the audience spent their hard-earned cash on it. Keep in mind that Madame Web was the number one movie on Netflix recently, and that film suffered greatly at the box office before its streaming debut. The risk of sampling it was much less severe from the safe space of a sofa. This could also be at play with Atlas‘s success on the platform so far.

Jennifer Lopez Has International Appeal


Jennifer Lopez is also a considerable draw. Not only is she a movie star, but she is also a well-known international celebrity with a lot of reach. She’s an actress who has achieved some box office success throughout her career, but what she has done even better than that is build a brand, even if that brand isn’t always associated with the films she makes. Lopez dabbles in music, make-up lines, clothing accessories, and other endeavors that have allowed her to touch different fanbases. Some might question her complete popularity, but with 252 million followers on Instagram alone, many potential eyes could check out Atlas at home.

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The actress has also proven herself to the Netflix audience. Her 2023 action film The Mother, which also wasn’t a hit with critics, resonated with Netflix viewers in a big way when, by June 2023, the film had registered 249.9 million hours watched, which reportedly was the most hours watched of any Netflix original at the time. Within its first 28 days, it became one of the streamer’s ten most popular English-language films of all time, only trailing other big movies on the platform, such as Extraction and Red Notice, but topping Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

Success like this is why Netflix wants to be in business with a celebrity like Lopez. She has proven in the streaming era to guarantee a level of success. The verdict is still out on whether Atlas can reach the heights of The Mother, but it’s off to a great start and will probably solidify Netflix’s union with the actress on future projects.


Jennifer Lopez Keeps Her Name in the Press

They also say any publicity is good publicity, which Lopez has herself at the center of. Amid the actress pounding the pavement to promote the film, rumors have suggested that her marriage to Ben Affleck is on the rocks. Both have been relatively silent about the status of their relationship, even though most signs point to things not being too sunshine and roses at home. It hasn’t stopped Lopez from getting the word out about Atlas.

She has done interviews with fellow castmembers Simu Liu and Sterling K. Brown, even one where the former had to help her shut down a question about her marriage during one of the film’s press junkets. How does this relate to viewers checking out Atlas? The actress has been frequently in the news leading up to the film’s release on Netflix. For better or worse, her personal life is its own form of promotion, and it becomes just another way to build interest in anything she does.


Is Netflix’s Atlas a Memorable Film?

It will be interesting to see where Atlas goes in the weeks ahead. Some have pointed out that many of these streaming releases burn bright and fade pretty quickly, which doesn’t give them the same shelf life as a movie given a theatrical release. In most cases, Netflix films still haven’t been able to achieve the cultural relevance of a movie that debuts in theaters, and, in the case of Atlas, its 50% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes may indicate that this got more hate watches than genuine views.


That said, in an industry that has become increasingly determined by coming in hot out of the gate, Netflix has found a way to tap into that interest. News of bad reviews was spun into them having the number one film on their platform globally. In contrast, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, which had much better reviews, had to deal with the opening weekend narrative of it being an underperformer because it didn’t live up to box office expectations. Perhaps the big test shouldn’t be the opening weekend reception but which film will still be talked about months or a year from now. Will audiences still be discussing Atlas? More than likely, they will have moved on to the next flavor of the month on Netflix. Atlas is now streaming on Netflix.

#Netflixs #Atlas #Success #Netflix #Terrible #Reviews

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