An art-house theatre release of a well-regarded Australian film will likely draw, at most, tens of thousands of viewers.
However, the fact that the nation’s most recent smash, The Stranger, has drawn a global audience of tens of millions on Netflix, demonstrates how much entertainment has evolved. The dark thriller about an undercover police operation by Thomas M. Wright was the third most-watched movie on the streaming service last week. Since it was released on Netflix late last month, the movie’s one-hour and 57-minute length has racked up nearly 28 million viewing hours. Only The Good Nurse and The School for Good and Evil, two Hollywood star-studded American movies, attracted more viewers.
A little budgeted Australian picture hasn’t experienced this kind of success since Animal Kingdom more than ten years ago, according to a thrilled Wright, who considers it “an emphatic Australian success.” But to rank third among all Netflix movies watched globally is beyond anyone’s dreams. Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris star in the film The Stranger, which was based on the police search for the kidnapper of 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe in 2003.
According to him, people are eager to see movies that include powerful, unexpected, transforming performances. “I enjoy that kind of movie.” Wright also thinks that audiences have a taste for challenging subjects in movies, which is frequently ignored. It’s not an easy movie to watch, but in a traditional narrative sense, I think it’s gratifying, he says. It is a work with significant narrative ambition and scope. Additionally, it demonstrates a global demand for Australian movies, which is quite exciting.
So, is streaming currently the greatest distribution method for Australian arthouse movies? It’s reasonable to argue that the cinema [being] a primary site to see movies is a thing of the past for the independent sector, according to Emile Sherman, one of The Stranger’s producers, who made this statement last month. Leading filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuaron, Jane Campion, and Andrew Dominik are currently creating movies for Netflix, as Wright notes. However, he did appreciate that The Stranger only had a brief theatrical run before becoming online.