Netflix's original horror flick Bird Box is having something of a moment, if you haven't noticed.
"There was a time when one of the producers was like, "No, you have to see something at some point" and forced me to write essentially a nightmare sequence where Malorie experiences one in that house", Heisserer said.
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In some cases, but certainly not all, a question about the film's merit seems to underlie the skepticism: Why was Bird Box, which received lukewarm reviews, the Netflix film to break such a record?
Netflix has about 137 million subscribers worldwide (as of October), about 57 percent of them in the United States.
Per Netflix, the film was viewed more than 45 million accounts in its first seven days of release. That's a fair bit of Bird-watching!
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Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is up 1.85% in premarket trading after Friday's late afternoon tweet on huge streaming numbers for Bird Box. Most Netflix subscribers are overseas, and those subscribers often have access to streaming libraries that are much smaller than the one Netflix offers here in the States.
So while it's hard to compare to traditional movie sales, the current top movie at the box office, Aquaman, grossed $137 million in its first week and sold close to 15 million tickets. It's also unclear - though presumable - that the number reflects accounts that have accessed the film globally. Plenty of folks share Netflix accounts, so some of those Bird Box viewings may be by more than one person at once.
Being clear-eyed about Netflix's Twitter brags doesn't mean that we have to be unimpressed with Bird Box's success.
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For people like you and me, maybe it's not that big a deal whether Netflix (and its streaming competitors) report numbers like this under the rosiest possible scenarios.