Netflix Made A $300 Million Mistake With ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’
— Updated on 29 January 2023

Netflix Made A $300 Million Mistake With ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’

— Updated on 29 January 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Given both the early reviews and ticket sales, it would appear the Netflix goose has laid another golden egg in the form of Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, but according to box office analysts, the streaming giant’s decision to leave the party early has let millions go down the drain.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping track, the Daniel Craig-led “sequel” was given an extremely limited single-week theatrical preview in just a handful of cinemas ahead of its arrival to streaming queues the world over (December 23rd). Despite essentially playing with both hands tied behind their back, Glass Onion still earned an estimated $15 million; becoming Netflix’s biggest-ever North American theatrical release with a just 600 locations to screen the murder flick in the process.

Had they opted for your run-of-the-mill rollout, pundits forecast a considerably heftier global box office haul for Glass Onion would’ve been on the cards — one that closer to the $300 million benchmark against a $40 million production budget, potentially even more. For comparison, as a sleeper hit, Knives Out raked in $312.9 million with an identical production budget.

RELATED: ‘Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery’ Is Better Than The Original, According To Critics

“With a traditional wide release, premium screen spread, and full marketing campaign, I think Glass Onion could have generated at least $50 million to $60 million to lead the entire market,” Shawn Robbins, Chief Analyst at, told CNBC.

“It’s a lost opportunity for Netflix in terms of extra money — they had a big chance and they whiffed,” added Wall Street analyst Eric Handler.

What took the market share in the crimson N’s absentia?

Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever reportedly led the US box office, generating $45.9 million in domestic receipts during the country’s three-day weekend and $64 million across the total five-day Thanksgiving holiday period. On the other end of the spectrum, Steve Spielberg’s Oscar contender The Fablemans posted a dismal $3.1 million during the same five-day period.

Netflix $300 Million Box Office Mistake - 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery'

“This is exactly the kind of movie adults want to see in theatres right now,” said Shawn Robbins.

“The family element made Knives Out a perfect Thanksgiving release for audiences across the country three years ago. Daniel Craig’s return as Benoit Blanc, Rian Johnson’s sharp storytelling.”

“And another round of positive reviews for Glass Onion are building on the excellent goodwill from the prior film as this semi-sequel reaps some rewards, but it arguably could have achieved even more.”

And yet Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos refuses to pivot in this regard, having made it perfectly clear the company’s objective involves growing its subscriber base, not making a splash in the box office. Considering the man effectively paid upwards of $450 million for the entire Knives Out franchise, however, it certainly might be worth revising the strategy. That is if they ever want to stop the ridiculous and consumer-alienating belt tightening.

Netflix $300 Million Box Office Mistake - 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery'

According to Netflix, the premise for Glass Onion is as follows:

Tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites his friends for a getaway on his private Greek island. When someone turns up dead, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is put on the case.

Director Rian Johnson previously noted Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery isn’t a strict continuation of its predecessor (hence “sequel”). Instead, this is a standalone instalment following Craig’s Detective Benoit Blanc on his latest mystery a la Hercule Poirot.

“I’ve never really been interested in doing sequels – but this, the idea of doing more of these with Daniel as his character, is not sequels,” Rian Johnson told SiriusXM.

“It’s just coming up with a whole new mystery, a whole new location, all-new cast, whole new mechanics of the appeal of a mystery, and everything.”

RELATED: Daniel Craig Won’t Be Leaving Children A Cent Of His $220 Million Fortune

“You look at Agatha Christie’s books and it’s not like every single one is a mansion, a library, and a detective. Besides setting, she also explored a bunch of different subgenres. She found a different narrative way into each of them.”

Daniel Craig and Edward Norton have been joined by Dave Bautista as YouTube star Duke Cody; Janelle Monae as tech entrepreneur Cassandra “Andi” Brand; Kathryn Hahn as Connecticut governor and Senate hopeful Claire Debella; with Leslie Odom Jr as a scientist employed by Norton’s Miles Bron by the name of Lionel Toussaint.

Kate Hudson has also made an appearance as eccentric fashion designer Birdie Jay; Madelyn Cline as Duke Cody’s younger girlfriend and channel assistant Whiskey; Jessica Henwick as Birdie Jay’s assistant Peg; while America’s other dad Ethan Hawke has been locked in for a yet-to-be-disclosed role.

Once again, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery arrives on Netflix later this month just before Christmas (December 23rd) – check out the trailer above.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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