Netflix Reveals Total Hours Watched for Top 10 Original Series and Movies

Whenever Netflix releases viewership numbers for its Originals, they always come with a caveat: its (very relaxed) methodology. Netflix expects to watch only two minutes of a TV show or movie as viewed. But who here hasn’t given up something after the first few minutes? If you put half an hour into a series of eight one-hour episodes, have you really “seen” the series? Netflix seems to think so. This has always made Netflix’s data less meaningful, which is likely why it’s now revealed total hours watched for its top 10 original movies and series, including Extraction, Money Heist, The Witcher, Stranger Things, Army. of the Dead, etc. To prove that most Netflix subscribers watch until the end.

At Vox Media’s Code conference in Los Angeles on Monday, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed that Bridgerton – the Regency-era London romantic drama series produced by Shondaland – paved the way with 625 million viewing hours in the first four weeks after release. If you average the 82 million households that watched Bridgerton in the first 28 days, that’s 7 hours and 37 minutes. Bridgerton Season 1 ran for 8 hours and 10 minutes in total.

The most-watched Netflix originals, in the first four weeks, by hours watched
Photo credit: Netflix

On the cinema side, Bird Box, directed by Sandra Bullock, came out on top with 282 million hours watched in the first 28 days. Bird Box was viewed by 89 million Netflix subscribers in the first four weeks, so the average is 3 hours and 10 minutes. That’s much longer than its 2 hour and 4 minute runtime, suggesting repeat viewing. Extraction, Chris Hemsworth’s most-watched film with 99 million views, came second with 231 million hours. That’s an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes, slightly more than its 1 hour and 57 minute battery life.

This was also the case with Money Heist season 4 (619 million hours) and Stranger Things 3 (582 million hours). The hit Spanish series, watched by 65 million Netflix members in the first 28 days, averages 9 hours and 31 minutes. But Money Heist season 4 only lasted 6 hours and 38 minutes. Stranger Things 3 had an average viewing time of 8 hours and 41 minutes, while the third season lasted 7 hours and 29 minutes. The Witcher’s average viewership was slightly lower than its Season 1 runtime.

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The most-watched Netflix originals, in the first four weeks, by households
Photo credit: Netflix

Here’s the full list of Netflix’s top 10 most-watched shows and movies, in the first four weeks after release, by viewing hours:

Top 10 most watched Netflix series

  1. Bridgerton season 1, 625 million
  2. Money Heist season 4, 619 million
  3. Stranger Things 3, 582 million
  4. The Witcher season 1, 541 million
  5. 13 Reasons Why season 2, 496 million
  6. 13 Reasons Why season 1, 476 million
  7. You season 2, 457 million
  8. Stranger Things 2, 427 million
  9. Money Heist season 3, 426 million
  10. Ginny & Georgia season 1, 381 million

Top 10 most-watched Netflix movies

  1. Bird box, 282 million
  2. Mining, 231 million
  3. The Irish, 215 million
  4. The Kissing Booth 2, 209 million
  5. 6 Metro, 205 million
  6. Spenser Confidential, 197 million
  7. Enola Holmes190 million
  8. Army of the dead, 187 million
  9. The old guard, 186 million
  10. Murder mystery, 170 million


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