With traditional movie releases there’s a very easy way to judge their success – the box office takings published after every weekend.
However, with Netflix’s original releases things are a little more complicated. We have a decent idea through online hype and word of mouth, but unless the streaming giant spills the beans we’ve got little way of confirming a film’s popularity.
Well, here’s one of the few occasions Netflix has offered a little insight on which flicks are popular among subscribers (via Bloomberg). The company says Extraction – the 2020 action flick starring Thor actor Chris Hemsworth – was streamed a whopping 99 million times in the first four weeks following its release.
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That makes it the most successful release ever by a considerable margin. The closest challenger is the suspense thriller Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock. Spenser Confidential, 6 Underground and Murder Mystery round out the top 5. Surprisingly, the Martin Scorsese mafia film The Irishman is down in sixth with just 64 million streams in the first month, despite its all-star cast (De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, Keitel, etc.).
The Irishman is the most critically-acclaimed Netflix original movie yet, but its appeal skewed to an older generation and had a runtime that exceeded three hours. Both may have reduced the number of subscribers who tuned in. Interestingly, The Irishman was the only drama in the list too.
Here’s the top ten:
Extraction (2020) – 99 million
Bird Box (2018) – 89 million
Spenser Confidential (2020) – 85 million
6 Underground (2019) – 83 million
Murder Mystery (2019) – 73 million
The Irishman (2019) – 64 million
Triple Frontier (2019) – 63 million
The Wrong Missy (2020) – 59 million
The Platform (2019) – 56 million
The Perfect Date (2019) – 48 million
The data gives us a better idea of the movies that tend to do well on Netflix, and could offer insight into the projects we can expect the company to commission moving forward. Extraction 2 has already been green lit, for example.
However, this data does not give us an accurate picture over which films viewers actually stuck with or enjoyed. Netflix counts a stream as someone who tuned in for just two minutes, meaning this data only really counts the level of interest in the movie rather than how many liked it enough to watch it all the way through.