Decade-Old Russell Crowe Film Was One Of Netflix’s Most-Watched Movies Last Week – Forbes

Russell Crowe’s decade-old movie “Noah” and three other films that were first released years ago shot into the top 10 most-watched movies on Netflix last week, part of a larger phenomenon that has seen older movies enjoy a streaming resurgence thanks to fresh availability, a spike in cast popularity or, in some cases, seemingly no reason at all.
Emma Watson and Russell Crowe attend the UK Premiere of “Noah” at Odeon Leicester Square on March … [+] 31, 2014 in London, England.
“Noah” re-entered the Netflix most-watched chart in the last spot the week of March 4 before shooting up to become the fifth most-watched film in the week of March 11, falling only to “Damsel,” “Irish Wish, “Alone” and “Code 8 Part II.”
Viewers watched the film, which was met with mixed reviews when it was first released in 2014 despite box office success, for a total of 14.3 million hours in the last two weeks.
The resurgence of “Noah” is a perfect example of the kind of second life many older films have found on Netflix this year, with little obvious reason—it could be the pending approach of Easter has driven interest to Biblical content, the upcoming 10-year anniversary of its premiere or due to a renewed interest in Crowe ahead of Friday’s release of his latest film, “Sleeping Dogs“—or just the sometimes hard-to-explain trends of Netflix’s recommendation algorithm.
No matter the reason, even Crowe seemed perplexed, tweeting to fans this week, “This is an interesting turn of events.”
The week of March 11 to 17, the latest Netflix viewing data available, also saw a surge in popularity for “The Back-Up Plan,” a 2010 romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Alex O’Loughlin, 2019 racing flick “Ford v. Ferrari” and “Turbo,” an animated children’s movie that was first released in 2013.
“The Back-Up Plan” was watched for 6 million hours to be the week’s sixth most-popular Netflix film, “Ford v. Ferrari” was in eighth place and “Turbo” was the No. 10 most-watched film.
Michaela Watkins as Mona and Jennifer Lopez as Zoe in “The Back-up Plan.”
The first older film to get a boost into the most-watched on Netflix this year was Jason Moama’s 2018 “Aquaman,” which landed on Netflix for the first time on Jan.1 and was watched by 7 million people that week, to become the fifth most-popular movie weeks after its sequel was released in theaters. Some movies were pushed into the top 10 this year by the newer works of their biggest stars. The success of Jason Statham’s newest action flick, “The Beekeeper,” pushed his 2005 film “Transporter 2” to become the second most-watched film of the week of Jan. 8 with 8.5 million viewing hours. Similarly, the eight-year-old “Legend of Tarzan” movie spent two weeks in the Netflix top 10 in January as its stars, Margot Robbie and Alexander Skarsgård, enjoyed success for their newer projects “Barbie” and “Succession.” Award season buzz was in full swing for both actors when “Tarzan” surged. Older romantic comedies like “The Back-Up Plan” are also wowing new Netflix audiences. “The Proposal,” Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds’ 2009 cult classic, was the fourth most-watched film the week of Jan. 8 with 8.8 million viewing hours. “The Vow,” starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, was Netflix seventh most-watched movie of the week from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4—12 years after it first released. The 2006 hit from Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada,” enjoyed two weeks on the Netflix chart in February and “Crossroads,” Britney Spears’ 2002 debut film, broke in at the No. 10 spot with 5.5 million viewing hours the week of Feb. 19.
It’s not just older movies that find new audiences on streaming platforms. Shows like “Suits,” “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Gilmore Girls” have also surged in popularity years after their broadcast runs ended. Nielsen executive Brian Fuhrer told the Hollywood Reporter that slower production schedules for original streaming content can be partially to blame for audiences returning again and again to their “comfort” titles. Many of Netflix’s competitors, like Disney and Paramount, are willing to license their titles to the streamer in exchange for the popularity—and revenue—surge it could bring. Many entertainment companies pressed pause on their licensing deals with Netflix as they developed their own streaming services in recent years, but some “have begun to soften their do-not-sell-to-Netflix stances” in recent months after noticing major cuts to their bottom line, the New York Times reported.
“Licensing is becoming in vogue again. It never went away, but there’s more of a willingness to license things again,” David Decker of Warner Bros Discovery said. “It generates money, and it gets content viewed and seen.”







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