Volume 1 of the penultimate series of Stranger Things hit Netflix on Friday and is now the biggest ever weekend premiere since Netflix began streaming content.
The show was enjoyed for an incredible 286,790,000 hours worldwide – according to the metrics Netflix publishes publicly each week – during the week of May 23-30. Considering it was only available for three of those days, that’s incredibly good going.
Previously, the record for the “biggest premiere weekend ever for an English language TV show on Netflix” was held by Season 2 of the period romp Bridgerton. That racked up 193 million hours of viewing time on its debut weekend, back in March. Stranger Things has beaten it by almost 100 million hours, and now looks set to beat the 28 day total (below).
In fact, such was the desire of fans to catch-up or reacquaint themselves with events in the Upside Down trip before enjoying Season 4, the other three series are occupying spots three, four and five on the English language viewing charts. They were enjoyed for 38.05m hours, 22.21, hours and 24.29m hours respectively during the last week.
Netflix judges these things differently now, but had previously said 40 million people watched Season 3 in just three days. It’s not as clear how many people have watched the new series, because there may be repeat viewings in play here. There are also some longer episodes, which would rack up the engagement hours.
Season 4 Volume 2 will hit Netflix on July 1 and will only be two episodes long, so Netflix may struggle to break the record again. However, the bar has been set for Season 5. Can Netflix conjure anything remotely as popular in the meantime to knock Stranger Things off the perch? Given the falling subscriber numbers, let’s hope for Netflix’s sake, it finds another smash hit.