John Boyega Liked Netflix's Bright, Thanks Very Much

John Boyega liked Bright, dangit! Getty

John Boyega is a superstar thanks to Star Wars (though anyone who saw him in Attack the Block knew he had it in him, and those of us waiting impatiently for Pacific Rim Uprising can’t wait to be further vindicated). His turn as Finn in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi mark him as one of a new generation’s heroes: a former Stormtrooper turned Resistance fighter who rejects all the of the First Order’s trappings in favor of what’s good and right.

The Last Jedi has made approximately seventy bazillion dollars globally and critics are all over it. But a lot of fans who are mad they didn’t get to write their own pedantic, tiresome takes on Snoke’s backstory into the film, or who are mad that Finn is black, or who are mad that Rey is a woman, or who are mad that The Last Jedi had jokes in it, or who are mad their pet theories turned out to be wrong or any other number of the tedious excuses for nerd rage that masquerade as legitimate among some populations, have put together futile petitions expressing their disappointment that The Last Jedi isn’t the movie they wrote in their head. Boo-hoo.

Boyega is nobody’s fool and is obviously aware of the controversy over The Last Jedi (although “controversy” is surely too dignified a word), so when he tweeted that “people like things you don’t,” most assumed he was talking about his own film.

In fact, he was talking about Netflix’s Bright:

Bright has seen controversy for several reasons: a shallow script, being written by alleged abuser Max Landis, having Will Smith smack a mythological creature while saying “fairy lives don’t matter,” awkward parallels to racism that don’t really go anywhere and don’t really say anything… and so on.

Despite all those things, Bright has pulled in at least 11 million viewers in its first three days (about 7 million in the 18-49 demographic), according to Nielsen estimates. Netflix has disputed Nielsen’s figures in the past, both at large and on specific titles like Stranger Things, because Nielsen’s measurement methodology excludes mobile devices and computers and only covers the U.S. But since Netflix won’t release its figures, Nielsen’s what we’ve got.

According to Nielsen, Bright was less popular than Stranger Things Season 2, but more popular than The Crown Season 2. Also according to Nielsen, the audience for Bright skewed young and male, putting Boyega right in the demographic sweet spot.

Bright's Rotten Tomatoes rating stands at 26% from critics, but 89% from audiences. For a good time, look up critical reviews for Bright; they’re positively scathing. Different strokes for different folks. But that audience rating and those Nielsen figures show that if Boyega likes Bright, he’s definitely not alone, even if folks think it sucks.


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