Lil Rel Howery as Bud Malone and Eric André as Chris Carey star in the Netflix movie, ‘A Heavy Journey’. The comedy about two friends who go on a journey for one of them to declare his love for the girl of his dreams was set to premiere in March 2020 at the renowned South by Southwest festival. However, the pandemic halted its release, leaving the producers and stars in a state of uncertainty.
The film was released on Amazon Prime Video by accident, making it vulnerable to piracy. However, Netflix stepped in to buy the rights to include it in its catalog, and it became the most popular movie between the end of March and the beginning of April 2021. Despite generating good reviews and conversation on social networks, being number one on Netflix proved to be financially fruitless for the producers and stars.
The experience of ‘A Heavy Journey’ suggests that the direct economic impact of featuring in the most popular Netflix ranking would be minimal or non-existent for low-budget projects that are not starred by Hollywood superstars. While the popularity of such hits can lead to benefits in the long term, such as the opening of doors or new opportunities with studios or production houses interested in the discovered talent, it does not guarantee financial success.
In conclusion, while the most popular Netflix ranking may capture our interest and prove to be a barometer of success on the platform, it does not necessarily translate to economic success for the creators and artists involved. Instead, it is a platform for them to showcase their talents and wait to see what happens.