Netflix’s latest hit ‘The Kissing Booth’ is a Wattpad success story

TechCrunch | 6/14/2018 | Sarah Perez
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One of the most popular movies in the U.S. is a terrible teen rom-com called “The Kissing Booth,” and it’s not in theaters. Instead, this Netflix Original with its paltry 17 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, shot up to become the No. 4 movie on IMDb, before more recently dropping down to No. 9. Its leads, Jacob Elordi and Joey King, also became the No. 1 and No. 6 most popular stars on IMDb’s StarMeter, respectively, shortly after the film’s launch.

The secret to the movie’s success, however, is not just a combination of teenagers’ questionable taste in entertainment and the power of Netflix’s distribution – though both play a major role, clearly.

Kissing - Booth - Audience - Wattpad - Users

Instead, it’s that “The Kissing Booth” was tapping into a built-in audience: teenaged Wattpad users.

Yes, Wattpad.

Case - Wattpad - Site - App - Writers

In case you’re not familiar, Wattpad is an online site and mobile app where writers can share their original stories – often things like fan fiction or sappy love stories (ahem) – with a wide community of readers. Today, Wattpad is visited by over 65 million monthly users, who spend a collective 15 billion minutes per month reading its online stories.

“The Kissing Booth” was one of its successes.

Story - Wattpad - Site - Watty - Awards

The original story was started on Wattpad back in 2011, and won one of the site’s “Watty Awards” that same year for “Most Popular Teen Fiction.”

The story was read a whopping 19 million times while on Wattpad, before the then 17-year old author Beth Reekles scored a three-book deal with Random House UK in 2013 – becoming the youngest Wattpad writer to earn a book deal at that time, the company notes.

Komixx - Media - Movie - Producer - Adult

London- and L.A.-based Komixx Media – the movie’s producer which specializes in finding young adult IP with commercial potential – reached out to the author within months of the book deal.

And Netflix ordered its adaptation...
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