December 7, 2019

THE IRISHMAN IS A NETFLIX HIT, EVEN IF FEW MAKE IT TO THE END:

Netflix acquired the rights to “The Irishman,” which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, after Paramount Pictures passed on the project. The film’s length, subject matter and estimated cost make it a hard sell at the box office. The run time limits the number of showings in a day, thus limiting its overall box-office potential.

Only 18% of viewers made it all the way through “The Irishman” in one sitting. That’s not unusual for a Netflix feature. A similar number finished “Bird Box,” and only 11% completed “El Camino.” Many viewers have discussed plans to watch the movie in parts, and some reporters have joked the picture should be considered a TV series instead.

As I wrote in my review at Ed Driscoll.com after viewing The Irishman on Thanksgiving evening, the pacing of the film’s last hour is deliberate and in sharp contrast to all of the action and political intrigue that preceded it. That contrast is why Scorsese chose to release the Irishman as a single continuous movie, and not as one of his TV series (Boardwalk Empire, Vinyl, etc.) for HBO.

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