Friday, April 17, 2020

M. Night Shyamalan’s 'The Last Airbender' Movie Becomes One of Netflix’s Most Watched Movies

When it comes to strongly criticized films, M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action adaptation of The Last Airbender is high on the list of movies that enter people’s minds. Based on Nickelodeon’s beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Shyamalan’s take on the story was widely criticized for its white-washed cast, lackluster effects, and cringeworthy dialogue. The movie often finds itself in arguments about the worst film of all time.

Surprisingly, however, 10-years after its initial release, it has suddenly rose to the top of Netflix’s most-watched movies list!

Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender hit the streaming platform on Thursday last week, and by the following day, it found itself on Netflix’s Top 10 list — and at number four, no less! It’s behind only The Hangover, Coffee & Kareem and Angel Has Fallen. With so many other films and television series to watch, it’s a surprising development to say the least. Perhaps the diligent binge-watchers have already made their way through everything else the service has to offer while in quarantine…but that seems unlikely.

It is possible that people are watching it ironically, as so many great movie nights consist of notoriously bad movies. We could all use a laugh right now, so who’s to say Netflix viewers aren’t using the platform’s content to have one? There’s also the possibility that some users haven’t actually seen the Nickelodeon series Avatar - The Last Airbender is based on — or have never even heard of the film itself. With nothing to compare it to, viewers may be drawn to the movie’s premise. What better way to escape reality than through a world of elemental magic?

Perhaps people have been tricked into thinking it's actually the beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. It could be that it's a guilty pleasure, so-bad-it's-good type of thing, like Cats or The Room. Then again, it could also be that folks are just desperate to watch movies they haven't seen before, and The Last Airbender is kid-friendly.

If this period of pandemic and quarantine proves anything about our streaming habits, it's that people with time on their hands will watch anything remotely flashy that gets added to Netflix's roster. There has been a trend lately of lesser-known action and disaster movies becoming popular on Netflix, as folks at home are always looking for something new to watch.

There’s no real way to know why The Last Airbender has become such a popular Netflix choice, but one thing’s for certain: The movie might help hold fans over until Netflix’s non-white-washed live-action remake of the series arrives. The Last Airbender will also serve as something to compare to once the new adaptation does debut — and maybe help hype up the series for viewers who wouldn’t otherwise watch it.

Whatever the reason is, The Last Airbender is a bit of a hit on Netflix, surprising as that may seem.

More Nick: Netflix to Host Open Casting Call for Live-Action 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Series!

Sources: Winter Is Coming, ComicBook.
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