The Irishman watched by 26 million in first week
Staff Reporter | On 11, Dec 2019Reading time: 2 mins
The Irishman has been watched by more than 26 million accounts in its first week on Netflix, the streaming giant has revealed.
Martin Scorsese’s epic saga of organised crime in post-war America is told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organised crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.
With Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in the cast, not to mention Scorsese at the helm, the movie has been one of the most anticipated films of the year among cinephiles, debuting at the New York Film Festival and London Film Festival before receiving a limited theatrical release in the UK.
“A mature, thoughtful reflection on the consequences of past actions, Scorsese’s patient crime drama is a masterclass in restraint,” we wrote in our five-star review.
The movie has since trended on Twitter following its release on Netflix, in the same way that Marriage Story has in the past week, highlight Netflix’s ability to generate conversations worldwide through its simultaneous global distribution online. Indeed, 26,404,081 accounts have watched the film in its first week.
The figures, of course, should be taken with a pinch of salt: Netflix’s count for a “viewer” is anyone who completes at least 70 per cent of one episode of a TV series or 70 per cent of a film – an indication, perhaps, of how much time people typically spend watching a single title on Netflix, or of how value attention spans have become in a competitive online age.
Nonetheless, the 3.5-hour film’s performance is relatively indicative of its success: it is only a short margin below Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston 97-minute comedy Murder Mystery, which was watched by 30,869,863 accounts in its first 3 days this summer – the biggest opening weekend ever for a Netflix original film.