Are The Sandman and other great Netflix productions at risk of cancellation? The Sandman it is already a reality. After almost a year of that first glimpse that we could see, the adaptation in serial format of the prestigious work of Neil Gaman has reached Netflix Y has done so with remarkable success. More public than critical, everything must be said.
But regardless of factors such as the quality of it, it may be interesting (and uncomfortable) to delve into the following debate. Are these types of series really profitable? are they doomed The Sandman and other series to cancellation from its very conception? Let’s put the data on the table and get started.
Netflix: Ruthless Monster or Lack of Foresight?
In recent years we have started to talk more about the cancellations of Netflix than of its own successes. And it is that the platform does not shake its pulse when it comes to canceling series. Sometimes with more or less well-founded reasons, sometimes with no arguments at all. And although the lack of performance of these series is often alleged as an explanation by decree, it is often done by putting the focus on the viewer. Nevertheless, it is the company that is responsible for giving the green light to projects that, on the table, seem potentially unprofitable.
Let us take as an example the case of the cancellation of Cowboy Bebop. The anime adaptation managed to rack up some 74 million hours of viewing in its first few days. Is this bad audience data? I’m afraid this question just depends on another question: How much did the series cost? Well, nothing more and nothing less than about 70 million dollars, or what is the same, 7 million per episode.
So we must assume that for Netflix the acquired audience was not enough, taking into account the cost that fiction had hadand even more so, taking into account the 60% drop in audience after its first week (a drop in which the reception of critics and viewers surely had to do, it must be said).
Taking these data into account and that, already based on a series such as Cowboy Bebopwith a very specific theme and aesthetic, and that in principle, the audience he could aspire to was smaller as it is aimed at a narrower target than that of more general series such as The Money Heist either The Bridgertons (to give a couple of examples), the question seems obvious: Why do they give the green light to the project?
The Present: The Sandman
It is taken for granted that all platforms use different market studies to estimate the viability of their budding projects, but when a platform like Netflix cancels dozens of series every year, it is reasonable to conclude that something is wrong with such studies. Or is there any universe where losing both money and subscriber trust is a good idea?
Let us now return to the present. Let’s take a look at the dream world of Morpheus. And it is that the series has had an excellent reception among the spectators. Something more lukewarm, yes, between the criticism as we mentioned at the beginning. Why then do we put on the table so soon a potential cancellation of The Sandman? So back to the key question posed earlier: How much did the series cost? Well, from what it seems, it revolves around a whopping figure of 165 million dollars, or what is the same, about 15 million per episode. More than double what they cost Cowboy Bebop. Little thing.
This means that, in principle, it must not only have an audience greater than that of Cowboy Bebopbut the audience must be substantially higher. It is impossible? It’s not complicated? Definitely. Like the other series, the work of Neil Gaman it is a fiction of a very particular tone and not very general as is almost any British sci-fi. They are works with many followers (among whom I include myself) but with a considerably smaller scope than other works.
To give a bit of perspective, a series like Doctor Whoquintessential British sci-fi, with a similar tone and potential audience, runs a rumored budget of around 0.7 million per episode, a substantial difference. Have The Sandman better visual bill than Doctor Who? Definitely. Is it an abysmally superior visual invoice? Personally, I don’t think so. Nevertheless the audience that is going to be demanded of the first one is going to be abysmally higher.
The Future: One Piece
Is it worth adapting? The Sandman with a vastly smaller budget with its consequent loss of quality at the production level? Possibly not. And this reflection can be extrapolated to lots of adaptations of books, comics and videogames, which Due to the very nature of their history, they would require a large budget to be adapted to audiovisuals with a minimum of quality.. For more samples the future adaptation of one piece for Netflix. And the fact is that the series will have the far from negligible budget of $10 million per episode (and still lower than The Sandman).
Is it really feasible to adapt a series like one piecewith a budget decent enough to move its worlds, characters and scenes fairly and at the same time be profitable in terms of audiences? Personally, and unfortunately for everyone, I think not. Another debate, also quite interesting, would be the following: Is it really necessary to adapt all successful works to audiovisuals? Isn’t it enough for us to be able to enjoy them in our comics, books or video games?
And you, What do you think of these dynamics? Do you think there is any way for these series to be profitable? Will they suffer too? one piece Y The Sandman the bitter fate of cancellation? Remember that, as always, you can tell us about your impressions on our account. Twitter.
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