Netflix, which is notoriously tight-lipped about their television ratings, decided instead to emulate a peacock fanning his feathers by proclaiming the success of their latest original film, Bird Box, which delivered almost 26 million viewers over the first seven days of release.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie everyone is tweeting about, finished “…second only to Stranger Things: Season 2, falling short by less than 1 million viewers.” The mockingbirds over at Netflix, even went so far as to initially claim that Bird Box, “…posted the best seven-day showing for a Netflix film to date, saying that more than 45 million accounts worldwide checked out the film, more than a third of Netflix’s global subscribers. Netflix later explained that accounts had to watch at least 70 percent of the movie to be counted, but didn’t say how many viewers those 45 million accounts represented” (maybe the executives counting the numbers were blindfolded and lost count).
When compared to another high-profile original film from Netflix, Bright, “Bird Box’s first day, which pulled in 3.5 million viewers, didn’t equal the first day of the 2017 Will Smith starrer Bright, which drew in 5.4 million when it debuted. But Bird Box then held steady — the distraction of holiday activities notwithstanding — and after seven days, it had racked up 26 million viewers to Bright’s 20 million.”
Examining the demographics further, it seems like Bird Box was a bigger hit with women than men, with 57% of the viewership total. Bird Box was also preferred by younger, less-experienced audiences as “…the highest concentration of viewers, 36 percent, (fell) between the ages of 18 and 34.” It also attracted a diverse crowd, “… almost half the audience, 46 percent, was either African American or Hispanic, which Nielsen added was the highest concentration it has observed across the Netflix originals it has analyzed. About 22 percent of viewers were Hispanic, while 24 percent were African American.”
If you’ve been in the dark recently, Bird Box is based on Josh Malerman’s novel of the same name (released in 2014) and directed by Susanne Bier. The film stars Sandra Bullock, who plays “mama bird” to a pair of children named Boy and Girl. In the course of their journey, the blindfolded trio must navigate a forest and river so they don’t spot some evil supernatural creatures that cause them to go prematurely “South for the winter”, if you know what I mean.
The film wasn’t only a a huge ratings success, but it also was successful in getting people to try living with a blind fold themselves! The so-called “Bird Box Challenge” (which has been a staple of Intro to Psychology classes for the last 50 years) even prompted Netflix to issue a public service announcement, begging viewers not to engage in this dangerous behavior.
Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.
— Netflix (@netflix) January 2, 2019
One of the many wayward souls that attempted this feat was controversial You Tube sensation Jake Paul, who tried to perform the stunt..in traffic! No cars collided with Paul…luckily…
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