‘Airplane Mode’ Is Netflix’s Most Popular Non-English Film (EXCLUSIVE)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Cesar Rodrigues’ “Airplane Mode” is the most popular non-English language feature on Netflix so far in the world, Netflix disclosed exclusively to Variety on Thursday.

The first Netflix original feature production in Brazil, released on Jan. 23, has been watched by nearly 28 million households, of which one third are in Brazil and two thirds outside the country. The U.S., Mexico, France and Germany lead the viewership outside Brazil, according to Netflix.

Portuguese-language dramatic comedy “Airplane Mode” was made by Rio-based production company A Fabrica for Netflix and stars Larissa Manoela, a local TV show teen star. In the plot, protagonist Ana, a young digital influencer addicted to social media, has a car accident while driving with her attention fixed on her smart phone. Her family sends her to a detox trip at the farm of her grandfather Germano (played by Brazilian vet rock star Erasmo Carlos), where there is no Internet coverage, and she realizes life is more than the web.

Cesar Rodrigues is an seasoned director of comedy and teen features and TV shows. He helmed “Minha mae e uma peça 2,” a local blockbuster comedy released in 2016, which sold more than 9 million tickets in Brazil.

“Airplane Mode” is the first full original Netflix feature produced and released in Brazil. Marcelo Galvao’s “The Killer” was released in 2016 by Netflix as an original, but was produced independently, according to a Netflix’s source.

Netflix announced in April 2019 that it had 30 original series and films in production in Brazil. The initial focus was on series. The company released 11 Brazilian original series in 2019 and two other series so far this year.

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