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These are the 10 most popular Netflix original movies of all time

Published Jul 16th, 2020 5:09PM EDT
Netflix top ten original movies
Image: Extraction | Netflix

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  • Netflix rarely shares viewership data with the public, but this week, the streaming service revealed the ten most popular original movies it has ever released.
  • Extraction was the most-watched movie Netflix has ever released, with 99 million people tuning in to watch Chris Hemsworth blow stuff up within the first four weeks.
  • Netflix says its goal is to release “an impactful movie every two weeks.”

Historically, Netflix has been tight-lipped about viewership figures, but in recent months, the company has begun to share more data with the public. The most obvious sign of this is the top ten list that Netflix shows users on the front page, where the ten most popular movies, shows, and specials of the day are listed for every country. Netflix pulled back the curtain a little bit further this week by revealing its ten most popular original movies to date to Bloomberg, and some of the movies that made the list might surprise you more than others.

Measuring the audience of an original movie in the first weeks following its debut on the streaming service, Extraction is the most popular movie that Netflix has ever released. According to the company’s data, 99 million people watched the Chris Hemsworth action flick within the first four weeks of it becoming available, which is ten million more people than watched Bird Box, the second most popular movie on the list, in the same time span.

As always, we do not know what exactly a “view” means to Netflix, so there’s no telling how long any of the 99 million subscribers actually watched Extraction, but it’s an interesting list nonetheless:

  1. Extraction
  2. Bird Box
  3. Spenser Confidential
  4. 6 Underground
  5. Murder Mystery
  6. The Irishman
  7. Triple Frontier
  8. The Wrong Missy
  9. The Platform
  10. The Perfect Date

If you’re an avid Netflix movie watcher, you probably noticed that all of these movies are relatively recent. Netflix has been making its own movies for half a decade, but every movie on the list was released within the last three years. A majority were released within the last twelve months. As Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw points out, Netflix has added 43.6 million customers since 2019 began, so every new movie has a larger audience to attract than the last.

“We want an impactful movie every two weeks,” Scott Stuber, the head of Netflix’s film division, told Bloomberg. “For one person, that’s Extraction. For another, it’s The Wrong Missy.”

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a boon for Netflix, as more people than ever are stuck at home with little else to do but watch TV. Extraction actually arrived on the service right in the middle of the first coronavirus peak in the US, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes for another movie to top it, given the A-list lead actor, the timing of the movie’s release, and the positive response from critics.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.