Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is up 1.85% in premarket trading after Friday's late afternoon tweet on huge streaming numbers for Bird Box. The film has gone viral, complete with memes and spoilers galore on social media networks like Twitter - where Netflix boasted to its followers that Bird Box has been "discovered" by "45,037,125" accounts and counting. The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Feinberg isn't quite so positive. The company released Bird Box worldwide, so about one in three Netflix accounts streamed the movie. Could the 45 million figure be compared to television ratings or even box office receipts? Netflix claims this is the best first week for a Netflix film ever, though it wasn't specified if that number also includes non-Netflix original movies.
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"I'm a huge fan and proponent of Netflix, but to believe that almost one-third of all of their subscribers not only watched 70% of the movie but did so in the first week of it being on the site is all but unfathomable", one producer told Business Insider over the weekend. Does the figure account for those who accidentally play the film from an auto-play option? "I want to believe it but just can't". Netflix refused to tell The Verge how many Bird Box streamers were based in the U.S. (Cordcutting.com has reached out to Netflix for comment, too, and we'll update this piece if Netflix shares any new information with us). The company rarely reveals viewership statistics for its content and is not independently monitored by a third party, such as Nielsen (though the measurement company has attempted to do so in the past).
The film's trailer has over 10 million views on YouTube, and that's counting only the views of the official Netflix channel. However, many simply riff on the prevalence of blindfolds in the film. "So it would have been the wrong decision", she said. "I'll See You in My Dreams' has been on Amazon Prime for two years as well, and I have no idea how many people have viewed the film on that platform".