Netflix has traditionally kept its mysterious rating system fairly close to the vest; since the streaming service is not on the Nielsen ratings system, it’s difficult to verify their occasional streaming claims. As we noted last October when Netflix stated that 80 million viewers had watched one of its summer rom-coms, “Netflix never releases individual streaming numbers unless they make the company look really, really good.” Or, if it wants to make fun of Christmas Prince fans.
Adding fuel to its own fire then, Netflix announces today that its new Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston vehicle Murder Mystery was viewed by more than 30 million accounts “in its first 3 days—the biggest opening weekend ever for a Netflix Film,” according to Netflix’s own comedy-related account @NetflixIsAJoke.
The New York Post quotes film historian Peter Labuza, who points out that this would give Murder Mystery the theoretically third biggest movie opening of the year, with 10 million more viewers than the Game Of Thrones finale. Variety states that “A Netflix spokesperson confirmed that the data tweeted out was accurate, and clarified that Netflix only counts views if members finished at least 70% of a film.”
The Hollywood Reporter offers a further breakdown of the tweet’s claim that the 30 million views involved 13,374,914 accounts in North America and another 17,494,949 accounts internationally, “where the film was subtitled in German, Spanish, French and Italian for subscribers.” THR also suggests that we will be seeing more of Netflix ratings releases, as “after joining the Motion Picture Association of America, the streaming giant has been steadily increasing its focus on providing original feature films to its worldwide subscribers.” This effort seems to have paid off, if the reported Murder Mystery numbers are any indication.