×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Bird Box’ Has Been Watched by 80 Million Subscribers, Netflix Says

Netflix used its Q4 2018 earnings report Thursday to give us a rare update on some of its audience numbers: The company estimates that its horror-thriller “Bird Box” will be viewed by over 80 million member households in the first four weeks following its release.

“We are seeing high repeat viewing,” company executives wrote in their letter to shareholders. “Bird Box” was first released on Netflix on Dec. 21, which means that the four-week mark is coming up this weekend.

The streaming giant long resisted the industry practice of releasing ratings for its movies and TV shows, but the company recently began to selectively highlight some success stories. In late December, Netflix claimed that over 45 million accounts had already watched “Bird Box” within the first few days after its release — a claim that was later backed up by Nielsen’s own audience measurement numbers.

The company used Thursday’s earnings report to selectively release a few other highlights as well. “Elite,” one of the company’s Spanish original shows, has been viewed by more than 20 million member households during the four weeks following its release; the stalker drama “You” is on track to attract 40 million viewers within four weeks; and “Sex Education,” which debuted on Netflix a week ago, is also expected to top 40 million viewers within four weeks.

The streaming service also called out a number of additional titles from around the globe for their success on the service: “Bodyguard,” which it co-produced with the BBC; the Italian series “Baby”; and the company’s first Turkish original “The Protector” all attracted more than 10 million viewers during their first four weeks on the service. “Great stories transcend borders,” company executives said in their letter to investors.

Popular on Variety

Netflix also shared some insights on how it arrived at these metrics: It only counts viewers if they at least finish 70% of an episode of a TV show or a movie, respectively. And the company added another new data point, claiming that it is now responsible for about 10% of all TV hours in the U.S. — a number that it apparently arrived at with some back-of-the-envelope math:

CREDIT: Courtesy of Netflix

These metrics were clearly meant to assure investors that Netflix’s originals strategy is working. “As a result of our success with original content, we’re becoming less focused on 2nd run programming,” company executives said in their letter to investors. “We are ready to pay top-of-market prices for second run content when the studios, networks and producers are willing to sell, but we are also prepared to keep our members ecstatic with our incredible original content if others choose to retain their content for their own services.”

In other words: Netflix is releasing these metrics as a way to show the world that it doesn’t need content from Disney, NBC, and others just as those companies get ready to launch their own streaming services.

More Digital

  • Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

    Disney Plus Set for Earlier Launch in U.K. & Western Europe

    The Walt Disney Co. has set March 24 as the new launch date for Disney Plus in the U.K. and other key markets across Western Europe. With the roll-out previously set for March 31, the streaming service will now be available a week earlier in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. Pricing [...]

  • Medici TV Show

    Vuulr Online Rights Market Makes Global Expansion at NATPE

    Singapore-based Vuulr, an online content marketplace for film and TV rights, is expanding from regional to global operations. The move was announced ahead of NATPE, one of the oldest face-to-face TV rights markets, this week launching its tenth edition in Miami, Florida (Jan 21-23). The Vuulr platform is free to use for buyers and for [...]

  • Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic

    Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic Adventure,' Upcoming Feature Debut 'Feu de Paille'

    “The Atomic Adventure,” a contender in UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilmFestival, is the third short from Loïc Barché (“Goliath,” “Le Commencement”). Variety talked to the director about the short, and his feature debut “Feu de Paille.” “The Atomic Adventure,” produced by young French outfits Punchline Cinéma and Leonis Productions, is set in 1961 in Algeria, where France [...]

  • The Isle of the Dead

    UniFrance Puts Spotlight on Emerging French VR Sector at Rendez-Vous

    France has a burgeoning eco-system of virtual reality and augmented reality producers, and is one of Europe’s leading VR/AR hubs. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a showcase of French projects that wraps Monday, included a VR/AR showcase, with recent projects demonstrated by Wide Management VR, VRrOOm and Atlas V. UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilm [...]

  • Blood Oath

    MBC Studios to Launch Arabic TV Series 'Blood Oath,' Written by Britain's Tony Jordan

    MBC Studios, the Saudi-owned production unit of top Middle Eastern free-to-air satellite network MBC Group is set to launch “Blood Oath,” an Arabic crime series written by Britain’s Tony Jordan (“EastEnders,” “Life on Mars”). The announcement comes as Dubai-based MBC Studios, set up in 2018 and headed by former president of NBCUniversal International Peter Smith, is [...]

  • Spirited Away

    Netflix Secures International Rights to Studio Ghibli Animated Films

    The iconic animated features of Japan’s Studio Ghibli will be available in territories outside the U.S., Canada and Japan on Netflix starting in February. The move is a further change of position for the studio which has repeatedly resisted the idea that its beloved cartoons would be released on digital platforms. Netflix, sales agent Wild [...]

  • ‘Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series

    ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series for SVOD (EXCLUSIVE)

    “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producer World of Wonder has greenlit two docu-series: “God Shave the Queens!” and an “Untitled Trinity Taylor Pageant Project.” The announcement will be made Sunday at the first-ever DragCon U.K. convention, which is taking place at Olympia, London. “God Shave the Queens!” features the first-ever cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content