‘#CancelNetflix’ Move Short-Lived Says Data Firm

Social media calls to boycott or cancel Netflix over allegations of a sexualized storyline for its French-language original movie about underage girls in a dance troupe was apparently short-lived.

New statistics from 7Park Data claim the furor over the English-dubbed Cuties, about an 11-year-old girl from Senegal living in Paris with her single mom who tries to expedite her transition into adulthood, lasted about seven days, causing an uptick in subscriber cancelations. Separate stats from YipitData suggested Netflix churn skyrocketed more than 800% on Sept. 12. Netflix, per policy, does not report the number of subscribers canceling service, or churn.

Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” Netflix said in a statement earlier this month. “It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Indeed, Cuties has ranked among the streamer’s Top 10 most-popular shows, with the film’s writer-director, Maïmouna Doucouré, telling a French media event last week that the movie is a call to educate people on the dangers of oversexualizing children.

“We need to protect our children. What I want … is to open people’s eyes on this issue and try to fix it,” Doucouré said. “We have the same fight.”

With an election year in full swing, Netflix has become a target among some politicians and groups (Parents Television Council, National Center on Sexual Exploitation and the Council on American-Islamic Relations) pushing agendas via red button topics such as child trafficking and U.S.-China-Muslim relations. Not surprisingly, Netflix cancellations from Sept. 10-13 increased most significantly in politically conservatives states such as Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

House Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) both called Cuties “child porn,” with Cruz firing off a letter to the Department of Justice asking for an investigation of Netflix executives.

This week five GOP senators sent a separate letter directly to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos with questions about the streamer’s decision to greenlight an original series based on a story (The Three-Body Problem) by award-winning Chinese science-fiction writer Cixin Liu, whose comments in support of government policies toward ethnic Uyghur Muslims, have drawn criticism.

Report: Disney+ Generated $270 Million in ‘Mulan’ PVOD Sales

The Walt Disney Co.’s calculated foray into premium VOD distribution for original movie Mulan reportedly has been a fiscal home run. Yahoo! Finance, citing data from 7Park Data, contends the movie has been purchased by 9 million Disney+ subscribers for $29.99 each through Sept. 12. That tally would suggest the $200 million budget movie, which was released on Sept. 4, has generated an impressive $270 million in direct-to-consumer revenue.

Unlike a typical PVOD transaction that gives a viewer a limited time period, usually 48 hours, to watch the movie, the Disney PVOD system, dubbed Premier Access, is set up to allow Disney+ subscribers to pay the premium fee to unlock the movie on Disney+ for as long as they are subscribers, effectively giving those who pay early access to the movie before it becomes available to all subscribers in a few months.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

App download tracking firm Sensor Tower previously disclosed that downloads of the Disney+ app skyrocketed 68% through the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 4-6), compared with the previous-week time period. Samba TV, which tracks viewership on smart TVs, reported that 1.1 million U.S. households watched Mulan on Labor Day weekend.

Disney has not officially released any Mulan sales data, but CFO Christine McCarthy Sept. 10 told an investor group the media giant was “very pleased” with PVOD sales data thus far.

The results, if true, would be another dagger to the theatrical window and suggests that Disney’s theatrical brand resonates (at significantly higher margin) as much with consumers in the home as at movie theaters. Disney generated a staggering $11.1 billion at the global box office in 2019 — including 33% of all domestic box office ticket sales. It was the first time a studio had controlled that much of the North American box office since 1999, according to Comscore.

Regardless, the movie, which stars Liu Yifei in the iconic Mulan role, had received middling reviews, plenty of controversy over filming locations in China accused of violating the human rights of ethnic Muslims, and lackluster box office sales in the Communist country.