Bird Box watched by more than 80 million households
James R | On 18, Jan 2019
Netflix’s Bird Box has now been watched by more than 80 million households, the streaming service has announced.
Directed by Susanne Bier (The Night Manager), the thriller sees a mysterious force decimate the world’s population: if you see it, you take your life. Sandra Bullock stars as Malorie, who flees with her two children down a treacherous river to the one place left that may offer sanctuary.
“Sandra Bullock anchors this survival thriller in the immediate, simple terror of its premise,” we wrote in our review.
Users agreed, with Netflix revealing last month that 45 million accounts watched the movie in first week – the best figure for any Netflix film to date. Now, Netflix has dropped some more stats on us, with the film enjoyed by over 80 million member households in its first four weeks, with CEO Reed Hastings noting that there was “high repeat viewing” in an earnings letter to shareholders today.
That letter contained a number of statistics about Netflix’s recent original hits, with Elite (Netflix’s Spanish original series) watched by over 20 million accounts in its first four weeks, Baby (Netflix’s Italian original series) and The Protector (its first Turkish original series) watched by over 10 million in their first four weeks, and both Sex Education and You on pace to be watched by over 40 million households apiece within their first four weeks.
It’s unusual for Netflix to release statistics, but they come at a time when Netflix is attempting to assert its position in the market ahead of a rival streaming service launched by Disney this year – and as it strives to position its original movies as worthy of acclaim and attention. “We are beginning to have our original movie offering mirror the success of our series offering for consumer enjoyment,” noted Hastings to shareholders, the week after Netflix’s Roma won two Golden Globes.
The stats, of course, come with some caveats: Netflix counts one viewer for a TV series if they complete at least 70% of one episode, while a film view is counted if they complete watching 70% of the movie. Those measures are different to the way the traditional TV ratings work, and cinema box office takings are measured, so it’s hard to compare like-for-like with other mediums – but with Netflix’s model allowing for worldwide simultaneous distribution, the high figures highlight how wide-reaching its content is.
Content chief Ted Sarandos said in a post-earnings video interview for shareholders: “What’s important is that, for part of your Netflix subscription, you’re in the zeitgeist. You’re watching the programme that the rest of the world is loving at the same time.”
Bird Box breaks Netflix record for first-week viewings
29th December 2018
Bird Box has become Netflix’s most-watched film in its first seven days, with more than 45 million Netflix accounts streaming the movie.
Directed by Susanne Bier (The Night Manager), the thriller sees a mysterious force decimate the world’s population: if you see it, you take your life. Sandra Bullock stars as Malorie, who flees with her two children down a treacherous river to the one place left that may offer sanctuary – a perilous journey they undertake blindfolded. She is joined on screen by Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes, American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson, Animal Kingdom’s Jacki Weaver and Rev’s Tom Hollander.
The film’s fear has proven aptly contagious, with Netflix revealing that 45,037,125 Netflix accounts have already watched Bird Box, which is the best first-week figure for any Netflix film to date.
The figures arrive as Netflix is notably pushing its original movies, with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by the Coen brothers and Roma by Alfonso Cuaron both hoping for success in the upcoming awards race. The figures also arrive, of course, after years of silence by Netflix on its viewing figures, as the streaming giant is famously tight-lipped on statistics. That makes it difficult not only to convert that into a theatrical box office equivalent, but also to know how far ahead of other Netflix original films Bird Box currently is, or how much viewing patterns change after a movie’s first week on release.
Bird Box is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.