Bird Box

Bird Box

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Updated Feb 12, 2019 at 06:14PM EST by Brad.

Added Dec 27, 2018 at 10:11AM EST by Matt.

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Bird Box is a 2018 post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller starring Sandra Bullock that follows the journey of a woman and two children who must travel down a river in blindfolds for survival in the wake of a global supernatural disaster. Upon its premiere on Netflix in December 2018, the film almost immediately went viral and spawned numerous memes on the social media.


In 2013, Universal Studios acquired the film rights to the then-upcoming novel of the same name by Josh Malerman, which was published in May 2014.[1] Three years later, Netflix announced it had acquired the right to the film, with Susanne Bier joining as the director and Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich starring as cast.[2] On October 24th, 2018, Netflix released the first trailer for the film. Within two months, the trailer received more than five million views (shown below). Following a limited theatrical run, the film officially premiered on Netflix at 3:00 a.m. (ET) and 12:00 a.m. (PT) on December 21st, 2018.[3]


Audience Engagement

Despite Netflix's routine late-night release schedule, Bird Box instantly became an overnight sensation on Twitter, leading to a flood of reactions and teasing commentaries from those who've streamed the film. As millions of people watched Bird Box in the days leading up to Christmas, image macros and reaction GIFs about the movie; Many, in particular, made jokes about the character Malorie's reactions to noises on her journey and Olympia's hospitality. On December 25th, Twitter[6] user @ThatIgboBooy tweeted a video of a man firing an assault rifle with the caption "*heavy winds* Malorie." The tweet received more than 20,000 retweets and 49,000 likes in two days (shown below).

Others made jokes about the characters in the film that are visually impaired, as well as Malorie, who wears a blindfold in the film (examples below). Several media outlets covered the reaction memes posted in reference to Bird Box, including The Daily Dot, [7] BuzzFeed, [8] and Complex.[9]

The blind people in #BirdBox everyone else is dying: while ' #BirdBo«Netflix. #BIRDBOX Do yall hear sumn The blind while everybody dying #BirdBo«Netflix. ' RX #birdboxO #BirdBo«Netflix me when malorie gave them names f

Critical Reviews

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, [4] the film received a 66% fresh rating based on 89 reviews. In their critical consensus, the website wrote, "Bird Box never quite reaches its intriguing potential, but strong acting and an effectively chilly mood offer intermittently creepy compensation." The review aggregator Metacritic[5] gave the film a 50 out of 100 (based on 20 reviews).

Bird Box Without Context




"Can't Hear, Can't Speak, Can't See"

"Can't Hear, Can't Speak, Can't See" refers to snowclones wherein people use the films Hush, A Quiet Place, and Bird Box to represent "can't hear, can't speak, can't see" respectively, with a fourth, humorous option that doesn't fit the preceding list. For example, Twitter user @MikalebRoehrig tweeted a Legally Blonde reference with the format, gaining over 340 retweets and 1,200 likes (shown below, left). User @jodackblack made a joke that gained over 1,800 retweets and 4,200 likes with a joke whose punchline is "You" (shown below, right).

Caleb Roehrig @MikalebRoehrig Follow Can't hear Can't speak Can't see Can't wet your hair for at least 24 hours after getting a perm at the risk of deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate BIRD BOX SILENCE CAN BE KILLER 8 11:28 PM-30 Dec 2018 joey Follow v @jodackblack cant speak cant hear cant see cant get your s--- together HUNT YOU BIRD B0X YOU 12:53 AM-28 Dec 2018

Forced Meme Conspiracy Theory

On December 26th, 2018, Twitter user @ChaseTheBussy pointed to a popular Bird Box-related meme and suggested that the poster's low follower/following count implied that Netflix had been using bots to spread Bird Box memes (shown below).

my avi is a self-portrait @CHASETHEBUSSY ● 22h ﹀ that follower and following count. Love when twitter lets Netflix use bots to advertise their godawful original films rebeca ◇.. : *+.. :* @uwurebeca #BirdBox Gary: look it's beautiful

However, the posters of the alleged "bot" tweets came forward to assure that they were in fact people. One user, @uwueoeoeo, has only two tweets: one about Bird Box that gained thousands of retweets, and another assuring their personhood that gained over 330 likes (shown below). The entire conspiracy was covered by Mashable[10] and Altpress[11] who both stated there was likely nothing to the theory.

rebeca *.:*A.* Follow @uwueoeoeo Y'ALL NEED TO LISTEN, IM NOT A BOT LMAOOOOO, like i swear to G o d, i'm a real person smh and i actually don't know why the bird box tweet got so many likes, like i was surprised because it was my first time tweeting something, but then everyONE STARTED SAYING THEY WERE BOTS no need to get aggressive

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