Have you seen 'Bird Box'? Netflix says basically everyone else has

The film starring Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, and Sarah Paulson is the best first 7 days ever for a Netflix film.

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 says there's a pretty good chance that you have. It made someone refer to star Sandra Bullock as the "lady from Bird Box, " causing everyone who would instead refer to her as the lady from Speed (and, you know, everything else) to feel like a fossil.

On the few other occasions that the streaming giant has revealed numbers, it announced that over 80 million subscribers watched at least one original romantic comedy earlier this summer, led by the breakout hit To All the Boys I've Loved Before. That number could be significantly higher considering friends and family may have watched the show together. That's a fair bit of Bird-watching!

"Streaming services have gotten away with opting not to share the abundance of viewership information to which they have access, but as more traditional corners of the entertainment industry feel increasingly jealous of their 45 million-plus pairs of eyes, the blindfold may be coming off", concludes CNN. Every Netflix "account" accommodates five users.

Sandra Bullock in the new film Bird Box. But it's also important to note that Netflix is counting by accounts. And Netflix is counting each account once, even if the account streamed Bird Box multiple times.

Were you one of the 45 million plus viewers to watch Bird Box in its first week?

That doesn't mean we have to like it. We can take issue with the nitty-gritty numbers, but Bird Box's big debut is an important reminder of the power of Netflix's original content strategy and its straight-to-streaming approach.

  • Jacqueline Ellis