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Marilyn Monroe biopic 'Blonde' debuts on Netflix, 'Dahmer' gets over 196 million hours watched

Entertainment reporter Allie Canal joins the Live show to outline the impact of Netflix's debut of its Marilyn Monroe biopic and Jeffrey Dahmer true-crime series.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: A brand new Marilyn Monroe biopic is streaming on Netflix. Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal joins us with the details. One might assume it'd be controversial, as everything is around Marilyn Monroe.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, everything pretty controversial. This "Blonde" movie has been making waves on the festival circuit. It got a 14-minute standing ovation during the Venice Film Festival. But reviews right now, they're not so strong. Audience score, 38%. Critic score, 48%. And a lot of people are sort of criticizing this, saying that it's exploiting Marilyn Monroe. I still think a lot of other viewers are going to be curious about it. They're going to want to tune in.

But when I think about something like "Blonde," obviously, an A-list cast. Ana de Armas-- wasn't a cheap movie to make. I think this paints an interesting picture about Netflix's movie strategy moving forward. And if you think about some of the movies that Netflix has released, "The Gray Man" being another recent example, they spent $200 million on that movie. But the big question now is, will it be worth it in the long run, especially when we think about Netflix's bottom line, their emphasis on profitability.

If we take a look at some of those viewership numbers, for "The Gray Man," you'll see that there's a pretty steep dropoff in weeks 2 and weeks 3. It actually fell 60% in week 2, another 46% in week 3, along with some of those other big titles out there. Now, all that being said, that's not to say a film like "The Gray Man" isn't a success. If you take a look at how many hours were viewed, 245 million hours viewed for that in its first 28 days, so still pretty significant. But I don't think that's enough for Netflix to justify the $200 million price tag.

DAVE BRIGGS: Versus the series that stay a flatter number.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Exactly, and I think, too, Netflix might need to adjust its strategy a little bit. Analysts that I've spoken with said that they're leaving money on the table by not releasing some of these films in theaters first, maybe doing a smaller theatrical window, more wider theatrical release, and then licensing it out potentially to other platforms or keeping it on the Netflix platform. So that's something I think the company is going to have to deal with moving forward.

DAVE BRIGGS: Very interesting.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: No, it's true. Netflix obviously still figuring quite a few things out. And speaking of that, though, a lot of people, though, talking about Netflix's show on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's life. What's been the reaction there?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, and the reaction-- I mean, if you're just talking from a strictly number perspective, this show went bonkers on its debut, 196.2 million hours watched since its September 21 launch. It's the biggest audience since the return of "Stranger Things." It has also beat out the debuts of other top Netflix shows, like "Inventing Anna" and "You." Now, this show in particular largely tells the story from the point of view of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims, also a big emphasis on the police incompetence there and how Dahmer was able to really get away with this for so long.

So one of the big issues here for the victims' families is that they believe that Netflix is exploiting this story. They allegedly were not contacted about the movie at large about the victims' statements. Now this is all public record, so Netflix didn't have to necessarily do that. But I think it speaks to the larger question that we as a society have, our fascination with serial killers. But should we be giving this as much attention? I just don't know. That's-- I'm not a philosopher. So I will not go deeper into that.

DAVE BRIGGS: Nothing our about fascination with serial killers.


DAVE BRIGGS: Steering clear of that one. Did you see it?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: I-- I'm a little scared to see this one.

DAVE BRIGGS: I'm terrified.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: I've heard it's very gruesome and very dark, so but again, the numbers speak for itself. And for a company like Netflix--

DAVE BRIGGS: I would never sleep again.


DAVE BRIGGS: Allie Canal, good stuff. Thank you so much.