The Cloverfield Paradox drew an average of 5 million viewers in its first week of release, according to Nielsen.
The sci-fi horror, which was retrofitted as a sequel to the JJ Abrams monster franchise, was not a kaiju-sized hit, if you compare it to the 11 million people who streamed Will Smith blockbuster Bright in its first three days. However, the two movies are chalk and cheese in the box office department, with Netflix trailing Bright for months up to its release and The Cloverfield Paradox getting a surprise release right after the Super Bowl on Sunday 4th February.
The B-movie was sold to Netflix by Paramount, as the studio proved nervous about releasing the movie in cinemas, either due to concerns about its quality or its mainstream audience appeal. Critical reception of the film was mixed, but the event created by its sudden release resulted in high audience awareness, with the movie trending on Twitter the morning after the Super Bowl.
Bright, on the other hand, was also met with mixed response, but its first three days were on a Friday through to Sunday, compared to Cloverfield’s more unusual Sunday evening through to Tuesday. Nielsen has not provided figures for Bright’s first full well, but did say that The Cloverfield Paradox racked up an average of 2.8 million viewers per minute in its first three days.
Monday 5th February was the biggest day for the sci-fi, when 1.3 million viewers streamed the movie on the back of its unexpected launch.
The movie arrived hot on the heels of Altered Carbon, which Nielsen also published data for, with 1.2 million viewers streaming the show on average in its first three years, growing to 2.5 million in its first full week. It began with a seven-day average of 5.9 million for its opening episode, but that number fell to 1 million for its finale.
The figures are disputed by Netflix, which says that Nielsen’s methods are inaccurate and unofficial, and it is impossible to compare the TV show’s performance with the established property Stranger Things, which Nielsen revealed data for last year, or with a movie. Nonetheless, they provide an interesting glimpse into the relative popularity and demand for Netflix’s titles, particularly as it experiments with alternative ways to release its originals online. There is also the chance for Altered Carbon or The Cloverfield Paradox to build their audiences over time.