A year ago, Netflix decided to dunk on the 53 users who had supposedly watched its mega-cheesy holiday movie A Christmas Prince every day for 18 days, asking “Who hurt you?” in a weirdly critical Twitter post. It was an odd marketing strategy, considering that Netflix should want its users to continuously stream its content for as long as possible, and it really just made the streaming service look like an asshole for suggesting that the movie it released is dumb and you’re dumb for liking it. (To be fair, A Christmas Prince was a little dumb.)
Netflix has learned from its mistake this year, as it’s actually bursting with pride over the fact that 20 million people have watched its sexy Kurt Russell Santa movie The Christmas Chronicles. Supposedly, that makes it the biggest movie of Russell’s career, but since Netflix doesn’t release specific data and isn’t basing that number on any publicly available information, it’s hard to say just how true it is. Either way, Business Insider is reporting that Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos is so proud of those 20 million views that he’s claiming it’s the equivalent of “a $200 million opening week” at the box office.
Unfortunately, it seems like Netflix has overcorrected in its attempt to avoid shaming users like last year, because that $200 million line is absolute bullshit. You don’t have to leave the house to watch a Netflix movie and you don’t have to pay to watch a Netflix movie (beyond your usual subscription), both of which are relatively big barriers for people to cross when they want to watch a movie. If The Christmas Chronicles were a real movie in theaters, there is absolutely no chance that it would make $200 million. As a movie that you can watch for free without having to put on pants, though, getting 20 million views is probably pretty easy—especially when Kurt Russell’s sexy Santa is so sexy.