In 2020, Netflix reported its biggest viewing figures ever for a December, and, during this past year’s holiday season, the biggest Christmas week — December 25 through December 31 — ever. These latest stats, as shared by the streamer with IndieWire and not verified by a third-party entity, are measured both by total viewing hours and average viewing hours per subscriber across each period.
The purported record-smashing numbers for Netflix were buoyed by a fleet of new originals, including the launch of the much talked-about salacious period series “Bridgerton.” The bawdy English Regency drama created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes is projected to have reached more than 63 million households so far, making it Netflix’s fifth biggest original series launch of all time. “Bridgerton” has reached the No. 1 spot overall in 76 countries including the U.S., UK, Brazil, France, and South Africa, and has reached the top 10 in every country except Japan. “Bridgerton” is the first Netflix original series from Rhimes and Shondaland, and more will come.
Netflix’s attractive original programming also included George Clooney’s epic science-fiction film “The Midnight Sky.” Seventy-two million households are projected by the streamer to have tuned in since the big-budget Clooney film launched on December 11. “The Midnight Sky” reached the top spot on Netflix’s viewing charts for film overall in 77 countries, and has been in the top 10 in 93 countries, from Turkey to Argentina, Germany, and Iceland, where part of the movie was filmed.
The theatrical release for “The Midnight Sky,” meanwhile, was Netflix’s biggest of the year, playing in more than 800 locations in 16 countries including the U.S., the UK, Brazil, Australia, Spain, Japan, and Mexico. That’s even as many theaters remain closed due to the pandemic, and exhibitors compete with day-and-date streaming premieres like “Wonder Woman 1984” for eyeballs.
Meanwhile, the Robert Rodriguez family film “We Can Be Heroes,” which also launched on Christmas Day, is projected to have reached 44 million households. “We Can Be Heroes,” starring Pedro Pascal and Priyanka Chopra, reached the top 10 for films in all countries across the globe. Written, produced, and directed by Rodriguez, the kids movie is headed for franchise territory, with a sequel already in development at Netflix.