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This new Netflix thriller will have you on the edge of your seat

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The Weekend Away — a new Netflix original movie based on a novel of the same, by Sarah Alderson — has been one of the Top 10 movies globally on Netflix every week in the three weeks since its release. As we’ve previously noted, viewers have trashed the movie pretty unequivocally on Rotten Tomatoes. Nevertheless, Netflix subscribers around the world spent more than 9 million hours watching The Weekend Away for the 7-day period ended March 20, if that tells you anything.

That makes the movie, at least for the time being, the #5 English-language film title on Netflix. And on a global basis, not just in the US. So, what’s this one all about?

Is The Weekend Away a true story?

Here’s Netflix’s logline for the title. “A weekend getaway to Croatia goes awry when a woman is accused of killing her best friend and her efforts to get to the truth uncover a painful secret.” And while that might sound a little reminiscent of the Amanda Knox situation — no, this is not a true story. It’s based, as we said, on Alderson’s novel, which she wrote after taking a trip with friends.

a woman in a car looking at a man
(L to R) Leighton Meester as Beth, and Ziad Bakri as Zain, in Netflix’s “The Weekend Away.” Image source: Ivan Šardi/Netflix

Leighton Meester leads a cast here that also includes Christina Wolfe, with the production directed by Kim Farrant. To a certain extent, this movie and the response to it remind me of a recent episode of the podcast The Town, from Puck News’ Matt Belloni. That episode was all about how strange Netflix’s original movie strategy feels, and if you stop and think about it that makes a lot of sense.

When is the last time you saw a truly unforgettable movie on the streamer? Have you ever seen a movie that made you say to yourself — yes, this is exactly why I have a Netflix subscription? Or, this is truly great stuff that I would have paid to go to the theater for? Who even remembers what Red Notice was about? As Belloni’s guest for the episode, entertainment and media analyst Julia Alexander wondered aloud, how much of this is Netflix working for the movies — or the movies working for Netflix?

(Follow Julia on Twitter, by the way, if you aren’t already. She’s at @loudmouthjulia — you are guaranteed to learn something within, like, the first three tweets of hers that you read).

Netflix Top 10

ryan reynolds talks to a young boy
Walker Scobell, left, as “Young Adam” and Ryan Reynolds as “Big Adam” in the Netflix movie, “The Adam Project.” Image source: Doane Gregory/Netflix

Part of me wonders if there’s a mental thing that happens when you watch Netflix movies on a small screen. Whereby, even if you don’t consciously think this, they end up feeling a little like a made-for-TV movie, since you’re either watching it on your TV or your phone. Such that you’re almost pre-conditioned to not appreciate them as much as something in a cinema.

As a quasi-testament to the aforementioned unusual nature of Netflix’s film strategy, the latest weekly global streaming data from Netflix is illuminating. That data is available below, including the hours spent streaming each title.

For the week ended March 20, Netflix users around the world were basically streaming The Adam Project and not much else when it comes to the streamer’s original movies. Everything else below, in other words, pales in comparison to the audience for #1.

  1. The Adam Project — 85.3 million hours viewed
  2. Rescued by Ruby — 19.9 million hours viewed
  3. Gemini Man — 11.8 million hours viewed
  4. The Ice Road — 11.6 million hours viewed
  5. The Weekend Away — 9.2 million hours viewed
  6. A Walk Among the Tombstones — 9 million hours viewed
  7. Windfall — 8.3 million hours viewed
  8. Shrek — 7.8 million hours viewed
  9. Shrek 2 — 6.7 million hours viewed
  10. A Madea Homecoming — 5.7 million hours viewed

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

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Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.