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Netflix Cares About Net Neutrality Again, and Here’s Why You Should Too


Netflix has made a public declaration on behalf of net neutrality. On Thursday, the streaming giant took to Twitter with the message, “Netflix will never outgrow the fight for #NetNeutrality. Everyone deserves an open Internet.”

The account then linked to the Battle for the Net page, which promotes July 12 as an Internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality. It urges users and websites to join the protest that day:

“The FCC wants to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, they’ll allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees. On July 12, the Internet will come together to stop them.”

READ MORE: Netflix: Every Canceled Show on the Streaming Service So Far

Net neutrality prohibits internet service providers (ISP) like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from taking control of internet usage by changing the speed of, or blocking, any content. The choice to go anywhere and communicate with whom you want on the Internet isn’t hampered by how well it works. If FCC chairman Ajit Pai succeeds in dismantling net neutrality, that might change. Net neutrality supporters fear an ISP could discriminate against certain applications, block websites with opposing opinions (or competitive offerings), and hike up fees to only service those who could afford it.

How the July 12 protest will play out is still unclear, although in 2014, certain sites like Tumblr and Reddit posted symbolic images of spinning wheels, the usual indicator that the site is taking its sweet time to load – a commentary on how ISPs could create fast or slow lanes arbitrarily. Ars Technica expects sites participating in the protest will also include information about Pai’s plans to dismantle net neutrality, as well as contact information for Congress and the FCC.


Netflix’s return to a strong opinion on net neutrality comes after the streaming service had wavered in taking a stand. Previously, The Verge reported that CEO Reed Hastings wasn’t as concerned with net neutrality because of the level of success Netflix had achieved. “It’s not narrowly important to us because we’re big enough to get the deals we want… we don’t have a special vulnerability to it.”

READ MORE: Netflix Is Finally Canceling Shows, and Network Executives Admit Why They’re Thrilled by the News

And indeed, a recent Forbes report had stated that the streaming service now has more subscribers than major cable networks. Netflix has been so successful that it only recently acknowledged a need to start canceling some of its shows, and subsequently dropped the ax on “The Get Down” and “Sense8.” But it was the protections of net neutrality 10 years ago that allowed Netflix to have the ability to flourish and become the powerhouse it is today.

By siding with net neutrality, Netflix is acknowledging that the internet should be open for everyone whether it’s for free speech, business purposes, private communications, organizing against social injustice, developing new technologies and more. Netflix joins companies such as Amazon, Reddit, Etsy, Vimeo, Kickstarter, OKCupid, Mozilla and many more in protest.

Recently, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” called for viewers to defend net neutrality, which resulted in the FCC website allegedly crashing from viewers looking to post comments. Here’s a refresher on the finer points of what might happen if net neutrality were taken away:

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‘The Last Jedi’ Will Be the Biggest Movie of 2017, Even as It Leaves Some Records Untouched


The first shows for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” begin tonight, and there’s every expectation that is will be the biggest-opening, top-grossing domestic release of 2017. At a minimum, we’re looking at a $200 million opening, with $225 million very likely.

With strong holiday playtime following the first 10 days of release, a multiple of at least three times its opening is possible, which could propel to the domestic take to around $700 million.

Yes, it’s going to be huge — but there’s a few records it might not beat. Here (with adjusting numbers to 2017 values) are some comparable numbers that “Jedi” will easily best, and a few that seem unlikely.

Top domestic grosses of 2017: YES

“The Last Jedi” should find the opening numbers easy to beat, and it’s hard to imagine it won’t be the best-performing movie of the year.

Film Studio Opening Gross Domestic Total
Beauty and the Beast Disney $174.8 million $504 million
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 Disney $146.5 million $412.6 million
It Warner Bros. $123.4 million $389.8 million


Best opening weekends in the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE

The bigger opening numbers in recent years can be tied to more seats available, pre-buys, and overall moviegoing habits.

Title Year Opening Box Office
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 $254.5 million
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2016 $157.6 million
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith 2005  $151.1 million


Best domestic gross for the “Star Wars” franchise: MAYBE

This includes reissues. “Star Wars” is the #2 film of all time, while “The Force Awakens” is the biggest success in the last 20 years. To be as high as fifth on the all time “Star Wars” list, “The Last Jedi”  would need to do 78 percent of the total for “The Force Awakens,” and significantly better than “Rogue One.”

Title Year Total Box Office
Star Wars 1977 $1.591 billion
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 $965.5 million
The Empire Strikes Back 1980 $876.8 million
The Return of the Jedi 1983 $840.0 million
The Phantom Menace 1999  $757.4 million


“The Fate of the Furious”

Top international grosses for 2017: NO

The two most recent “Star Wars” films weren’t top among overseas release in their years. In 2015, “The Force Awakens” was second to “Furious 7,” though it did gross over $1 billion overseas. “Rogue One” was eighth best among 2016 releases, grossing $524 million. Expect “The Last Jedi” to gross somewhere in between, unlikely to be better than third best for the year.

Title Studio Total
The Fate of the Furious Universal $1.010 billion
Wolf Warrior 2 Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co. $864.9 million
Despicable Me 3 Universal $767.8 million
Beauty and the Beast Disney $759.5 million
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Disney  $622.3 million


Top worldwide grosses for 2017: YES

This looks entirely doable. “The Force Awakens” made over $2 billion, “Rogue One” a little over $1 billion; expect this to do more, both at home and overseas.

Title Studio Total
Beauty and the Beast Disney $1.264 billion
The Fate of the Furious Universal $1.236 billion
Despicable Me 3 20th Century Fox $1.033 billion
Spider-Man: Homecoming Sony $880.2 million
Wolf Warrior 2 Beijing Jingxi Culture & Tourism Co.  $870.3 million


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