How Many Netflix Viewers Watched 'Bird Box' & 'You' Is *Way* More Than You Ever Expected
Netflix is finally running some numbers for marathon streamers. So if you've been wondering how many Netflix users watched Bird Box and You, among other new releases, the streaming giant has you covered. While Netflix is notorious for keeping viewership numbers under lock and key, its recently begun rolling out some figures, and, in a new earnings report shared by Deadline, celebrated the success of six of its newest series, including the Penn Badgley stalker drama You, which is on course to rack up streams by 40 million households in its first month on Netflix.
Of course, nothing could top the flyaway hit that was the Sandra Bullock and Trevante Rhodes-led horror thriller Bird Box, however. Since its Dec. 21 release, Bird Box has been streamed in 80 million homes, according to Deadline's summary of the Netflix report. But — just like the countless Bird Box memes have insinuated — the number of actual people who watched the original movie (as opposed to total number of streams) would actually be much higher when you consider varying household sizes and shared accounts between friends and family members.
“We are seeing high repeat viewing,” Netflix execs wrote in a letter to shareholders, which Deadline also posted.
Bird Box's staggering numbers, while hugely impressive, aren't exactly a huge shock, given its immediate ratings milestone. More than 45 million accounts streamed Bird Box in the first week alone, according to the streaming service. The company also claimed in a Dec. 28 tweet that, based on the total number of views, the thriller had earned the distinction of having the "best first 7 days ever for a Netflix film."
Freshman series You, which Lifetime first premiered back in September, made the jump to Netflix on Dec. 26, racking up numbers the adaptation of a Caroline Kepnesseem novel wasn't able to achieve on its original network. (Fun fact: Netflix considers an episode as “viewed” if at least one episode has been watched at least 70% of the way through, per Deadline.) Although Lifetime initially renewed You for Season 2, Netflix will produce the second installment as an original series.
In You, Badgley plays a brilliantly devious bookstore manager, who becomes obsessed with, and ultimately stalks, an aspiring writer (Elizabeth Lail). Although the Gossip Girl alum is likely thrilled with the show's Netflix-invigorated viewer numbers, he recently used Twitter to implore fans to stop romanticizing his character and see him for the villain that he truly is.
"It becomes more and more complicated, especially being the person who has to embody him," he told Vulture in a September 2018 interview. "There’s no way around it — Joe’s not a great person."
For its part, teen dramedy Sex Education (released on Jan. 11) is right on track with You, also on par to hit 40 million household streams in its initial weeks on Netflix, per Deadline. The hilariously uncomfortable coming-of-age flick charmed viewers thanks to leads Asa Butterfield, who portrays the often-mortified son to a renowned sex therapist played by actor Gillian Anderson.
Meanwhile, Spanish teen prep-school drama Elite has been seen by more than 20 million households since it dropped in October and international co-productions Bodyguard, Baby and The Protector have each racked up more than 10 million account views, Netflix added in its report.
While there aren't past numbers for comparison, it seems that "Netflix and chilling" is hotter than ever.