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Netflix Racks Up Impressive First Week Numbers for “Bird Box”

On Friday, Netflix divulged that “Bird Box”, their latest original film, had garnered a massive viewer base. Incredibly, the stats show that more than 45 million accounts logged in to view the flick. To really get a gist of things, it’s important to note that the number represents about a third of their worldwide subscriber base.

The new fete marks the strongest opening week for a Netflix release. Acknowledging the momentous occasion, the company shared a tweet that seemed to echo a sign of the good times ahead. Having made multimillion-dollar investments in the making of original movies and shows, their elation at the great return is perfectly understandable.

At present, estimates show that Netflix spends about $13 billion per annum on programming.

Sandra Bullock takes center stage in the sci-fi thriller with her portrayal of a character lucky enough to survive a strange happening together with her 2 kids. All through the action, they’re set out to find solace in a new beginning. Intriguingly, they have to do this while blindfolded in order to avoid the same fate that has befallen a majority of the population.

While the official numbers show that about 45 million accounts watched “Bird Box”, the actual number of people who’ve seen the film is probably much higher. This is especially true when you take into account that most Netflix accounts allow for multiple profiles. At the same time, many accounts are shared by friends and family.

All about Numbers

In the past, Netflix has shied away from revealing viewership statistics. However, the latest “Bird Box” debut numbers place the film in close ranks with total theater ticket sales of some major movies like “Frozen”, “The Fugitive”, and a couple of “Harry Potter” flicks.

Analysts believe that the key driver for the record viewership numbers has a lot to do with the fact that it’s easier for viewers to simply log in to their smart devices and get entertained. Going to a cinema is a whole other story.

One Netflix spokesperson revealed to reporters that once viewers surpass the 70% mark while watching a film, they count that account as having watched through. The spokesperson went on to reveal that they only count one single view per account, irrespective of how many times a film has been seen.

Despite the fact that Netflix has a massive subscription base, “Bird Box” has been well received by a vast majority of its audience.

Netflix has been making major inroads on a number of cable TV and film industry cohorts. During the 3rd Quarter of 2018, Netflix registered about 58 million domestic subscribers. Internationally, the numbers were just as impressive with a 79 million reach.

Even after having revealed the “Bird Box” numbers, Netflix has not shared which film was the previous record holder in a space of  7 days. At present, it’s unclear whether their estimates will get the nod of approval from Nielsen.


One critic working for The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Feinberg, seemed to mistrust the data shared by Netflix. He mentioned that the company did not break down how they were able to arrive at the figure. While at it, he further questioned the method of presentation, according to him, a tweet is not enough.

Kelly Kahl, who serves as the president of CBS Entertainment, jokingly tweeted that the latest numbers by Netflix were actually verified by the company itself. Truthfully, the fact that plenty of streaming companies don’t have a 3rd party sourcing for analytics purposes, exposes them to the risk of mistrust by industry titans and viewers.

Hollywood studios and other theaters usually get their numbers certified by authorities at the box office.

Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix are currently entangled in a streaming war at present. Still, they have an upper-hand over the rest of the content business because they are not compelled by anyone to divulge their numbers.

What’s clearly apparent is that going forward, streaming companies will need to be more transparent in the manner they report on service dispensation and how business is conducted.

Netflix has been particularly rewarding to its investors who’ve witnessed a momentous surge in returns over the last 5 years. Their ever-changing business model has allowed the company to cope with the times and at present, it’s safe to say that they’ve navigated the murky waters quite well all through.

The company’s management has been at the front line in leading the change. By cleverly jumping through hurdles like the Qwikster fiasco whilst spearheading the charge into movie production, Netflix has carved a niche for itself as the undisputed champion in the streaming ring.

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