‘Don’t try this at home!’ Netflix warns viewers about imitating blindfolded Bird Box stunts
Netflix warned fans of the new thriller Bird Box not to injure themselves trying to imitate the characters in the film by performing everyday acts while blindfolded. But did they invent the ‘Bird Box challenge’ to begin with?
As the #BirdBoxChallenge went viral on Twitter, Netflix reminded Bird Box fans not to injure themselves while cavorting around blindfolded like the characters in the film. Netflix, it seems, had naively assumed people who subscribed to a streaming video service and watched dozens of films per month didn’t need to be reminded not to try the stunts at home. Sadly, they were wrong.
Can't believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don't know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.— Netflix US (@netflix) January 2, 2019
The Bird Box challenge dares fans to attempt everyday acts while blindfolded, like Sandra Bullock’s character in the film. Marooned in a post-apocalyptic wilderness with two young children, she must cross a river and forest full of supernatural creatures that will cause her to commit suicide if she looks at them. Their blindfolds are all that protects the trio from certain death.
Things work a bit differently in real life, as fans soon found out…
As if it wasn't dangerous enough to walk around blindfolded, some people added heavy artillery to the mix.
But most of the mentions seemed to be people mocking challenge participants...
If you have to be warned to not do the #BirdBoxChallenge you probably deserve whatever befalls you.— Terrence I. (@tb4000) January 3, 2019
...many of whom mentioned Tide pods.
This is gonna be 2019's "Tide Pod Challenge" isn't it? #BirdBoxChallenge— Michael Swartz (@Maswartz226) January 3, 2019
And at least one person figured out that the Bird Box challenge was actually… an advertising campaign.
the first #BirdBoxChallenge tweets are sponsored tweets from games streamers, paid by @netflixanz, prior to the release of the movie on any streaming platform. The earliest one appears to be this one, from 12/5/18: https://t.co/RXZ2xTHU6rhttps://t.co/tJTV5wU5fk— Nick (@HotTopicDropout) January 3, 2019
Netflix boasted last week that Bird Box was downloaded by a record-breaking 45 million accounts in its first seven days online, sparking furious debate over the future relevance of movie theaters in a world where a film most people hadn’t even heard of until it appeared on their Netflix accounts can rival big budget blockbusters in a hypothetical box-office matchup (one industry analyst calculated the film’s earnings – if it had been released conventionally – at about $700 million for the week, while superhero film du jour Aquaman had only grossed $629 million as of last week).
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