The Irishman is drawing numbers for Netflix, but how many people watched all of it?


Netflix doesn’t reveal viewer numbers except when it makes them look good and they want to promote something. I feel like this should change, and Netflix says it might. (Maybe that would mean less foreign post-apocalyptic movies so keep doing what you’re doing, Netflix._ Over the weekend I watched the first half of The Irishman with a friend. I promised to wait to watch the second half with him, but I’m not clamoring to see it, either. If it was The Mandalorian I probably wouldn’t save it, you know? It’s a decent movie but it feels very one-note, so far it hasn’t passed the Bechdel test and if I never saw the rest of it I wouldn’t care. Plus it feel so self-indulgent to put out a three and a half hour film, especially when Scorsese is telling people not to watch it on their phones. I’m not mad though because it’s not like I have to sit my ass in a theater to see it. Netflix is the perfect format for this. Netflix says that in one week 26.4 million people watched The Irishman at least 70% of the way through. Really? Do people fast-forwarding it count? Nielsen’s numbers show Netflix’s could be inflated, unsurprisingly, but it’s still getting a lot of viewers:

Netflix has dribbled out some viewing data on Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”: The epically long mobster film was watched by 26.4 million Netflix households worldwide in the first seven days — to at least 70% completion, according to content chief Ted Sarandos.

In the first 28 days, Netflix expects about 40 million account holders to have watched “The Irishman” at least 70% of the way through, according to Sarandos, speaking Tuesday at the UBS Global TMT Conference in New York. The film was released Nov. 27 on Netflix after a limited theatrical run.

Sarandos said the internal Netflix numbers — which can’t be corroborated by a third party — are all the more amazing considering “all the other things you could do on those screens now… And people still choose a relationship with a film… They sit down to watch a three-and-a-half-hour movie.”

Netflix has selectively doled out metrics, and Sarandos’ touting of “The Irishman” viewing comes after Nielsen last week released estimates for U.S. viewers of the movie, pegging 17.1 million unique viewers in the first five days and an average minute audience of 13.2 million viewers over that time frame. According to Nielsen, on the Nov. 27 premiere date, roughly 18% of the total viewers of “The Irishman” watched the movie in its entirety — which, according to the research firm, was on par with the premiere day of thriller “Bird Box” (18%) and greater than “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” (11%).

Netflix has selectively doled out metrics, and Sarandos’ touting of “The Irishman” viewing comes after Nielsen last week released estimates for U.S. viewers of the movie, pegging 17.1 million unique viewers in the first five days and an average minute audience of 13.2 million viewers over that time frame. According to Nielsen, on the Nov. 27 premiere date, roughly 18% of the total viewers of “The Irishman” watched the movie in its entirety — which, according to the research firm, was on par with the premiere day of thriller “Bird Box” (18%) and greater than “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” (11%).

Netflix plans to start regularly releasing viewing numbers publicly, but “we’re trying to make sure that we’re conditioning the market to what it means,” Sarandos said at the UBS conference. The company’s stats, he said, aren’t comparable to box-office figures or Nielsen ratings points.

Sarandos claimed Scorsese was happy with the viewing numbers for his sprawling mafia pic. According to Netflix, “The Irishman” is drawing smaller crowds than Sandra Bullock’s “Bird Box,” which the company claimed was watched by 45 million members worldwide in its first week and an estimated 80 million in the initial four weeks.

[From Variety]

So 18% of viewers watched it until the end according to Nielsen, which I believe. I’m surprised that Birdbox did better, but that’s more of a blockbuster movie and I think that would have done really well in theaters too. The Irishman has some amazing talent, but it meanders. Also I would rather see different actors play the younger versions of the characters. The digital de-aging is pretty good, but it’s still distracting. This is an Oscar bid for Netflix and it may pay off. Al Pacino should get a nomination for this too! He’s amazing in it. So far he only has one Oscar, for Scent of a Woman, and has been nominated seven other times.

photos credit: Netflix press

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