Netflix has acquired the Eric Andre–Lil Rel Howery comedy Bad Trip from MGM despite the fact that the film leaked on Amazon last month, reports Bloomberg.
Kitao Sakurai directed the slapstick comedy, which is described as a cross between a scripted buddy movie and a hidden-camera prank show. The story finds Andre and Howery pulling real pranks during a cross-country road trip to New York City.
Tiffany Haddish co-stars in the film, which hails from producers Ruben Fleischer and Jeff Tremaine (Jackass), and boasts a score from Black Panther duo Ludwig Göransson and Joseph Shirley.
Expect Netflix to release Bad Trip at some point this summer, as not only is time of the essence due to piracy, but the streamer might as well capitalize on the marketing dollars that MGM already spent in advance of the film’s planned SXSW premiere. People are also eager to laugh, so a comedy like this could find an enthusiastic audience on Netflix. Who knows, you might even see the streamer order up a sequel when production is able to resume.
With subscribers hungry for new content to entertain them during this pandemic, Netflix has been acquiring finished films when it can, such as Paramount’s Kumail Nanjiani–Issa Rae comedy The Lovebirds. Neither that film nor Bad Trip were expected to make a killing at the box office, and we’ve seen studios delay their big-budget blockbusters rather than unload them to streaming services. That includes MGM with Daniel Craig‘s final James Bond movie No Time to Die. However, family-friendly films such as WB’s Scoob! and Universal’s Trolls World Tour have skipped theaters in favor of VOD releases, while Disney has opted to release Artemis Fowl and Hamilton: The Movie directly on Disney+ in an effort to boost subscribers.
All of those films would have driven people to theaters more than the two Netflix acquisitions, which is why those films were put on the block in the first place. Theaters are unlikely to open anytime soon, and even once they do, there will be social distance restrictions in place that may prevent studios from releasing blockbusters that normally play to sold-out crowds.