Years after it revolutionized television by streaming high-quality original content, Netflix is now going after the movie industry.
In addition to launching a thousand memes, Netflix’s latest original film—Bird Box—shattered the record for highest viewership of any Netflix original film in its opening week, garnering over 45 million views according to internal reports. Views were counted for each account that watched 70% or more of the film, including credits.
For their part, theater owners remain unfazed. As Patrick Corcoran of the National Association of Theatre Owners pointed out: “Netflix’s model can’t disrupt theatrical if it’s not playing on 99.7% of screens.” Others are quick to remind people that streaming a film from the comfort of one’s own home is far more convenient than schlepping to a movie theater and paying for a ticket.
Nevertheless, the viewing reports of Bird Box led to much speculation on Netflix’s growing hold over the movies.
#Hollywood #movie industry should be very concerned about #Netflix they are making huge #blockbuster leaps. #BirdBox had 45 million views in one week and it was all word of mouth barely any advertising.
— Ryan Galway (@RyanGalway) January 2, 2019
— Alan ™ (@_rgalan) December 29, 2018
Netflix is on the verge of taking over the movie industry.
— Ross (@rossramsey21) December 28, 2018
Because a number is meaningless without a context lets put this 45M in perspective. Assuming an avg price of $10 we have Avatar at #1 of Box Office with 280M 👥. In just 1 week Netflix is top20 in history with a veery average movie. What Massive power of distribution has become! pic.twitter.com/sDekZIFb8j
— Pablo Campos GH 🇪🇸 (@pol_cgh) December 29, 2018
Netflix got 45 million accounts to watch Birdbox in a week. When was the last time 45 million people went to a Sandra Bullock film at once. Never?
They didn’t need promotion or mass media ads or critics’ reviews or exhibitors betting on popcorn sales. Extraordinary times.
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) December 29, 2018
Though Netflix spent very little advertising Bird Box, it put the film at the fore of its homepage. However, there’s another key ingredient that has proven integral to Netflix’s success in television and its burgeoning growth in original films.