Netflix could have purchased Holmes & Watson from Sony, but the streaming service apparently knew to not cut a deal for this critical disaster. The latest comedy to see John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell team up together has been off to a very bad start, despite the fact that moviegoers have been dying to see the duo get back together for a decade, ever since they last appeared alongside one another in Step Brothers back in 2008. Unfortunately, this take on the Sherlock Holmes tale didn't land and Netflix wanted no part of it.
Buried within a new box office report, detailing how Holmes and Watson is fairing on the financial front so far, it's been revealed that Sony offered Netflix the chance to buy the movie from them. However, for reasons that weren't made clear in the report, the company declined to do so. Netflix surely would have had the opportunity to screen the comedy ahead of time and, after viewing it, it's quite possible that the quality, or lack thereof, is what influenced their seemingly wise decision not to get involved.
Holmes and Watson debuted with a very rare 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Things have since improved slightly, for what it may be worth, as the movie has a six percent approval rating. The audience rating isn't much better, scoring just a 25 percent as of this writing. Taking that into account, and seeing as Sony tried to dump the movie to Netflix before cutting their losses and doing with it what they could, it's clear the studio understood that they had a serious dud on their hands.
Bad or not, it's understandable that Sony would at least try to sell the project to Netflix. This has happened with several other high-profile projects in the past. Paramount sold The Cloverfield Paradox to the streaming service earlier this year, just months ahead of its scheduled theatrical release. Netflix then surprise released the movie following the Super Bowl. The third Cloverfield movie didn't fare too well with critics, but it did better than Holmes and Watson, to say the least. More recently, Warner Bros. sold Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, their darker take on The Jungle Book directed by Andy Serkis, to Netflix, as opposed to doing what they could with it at the box office. Though, that had much more to do with the fact that Disney had a great deal of success with their live-action take on the material with Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book, which was released in 2016.
So far, Holmes and Watson, which comes from director Etan Cohen (Get Hard), has grossed $10 million. To go with the very poor Rotten Tomatoes score, the movie was given a terrible D+ CinemaScore. With a reported budget of $42 million, this is likely going to be a pretty big loss for Sony. Sad to say, this wasn't the return of Ferrell and Reilly that people were hoping for. This news was first reported by Deadline.