We’re at the midway point of 2022 so we thought we’d look back at the first 6 months of the year looking into quality, quantity, hours viewed data and more to see what the biggest hits of 2022 have been so far and how this year’s haul is comparing to previous years.
This article was first published in French in a newsletter called “Netflix and Chiffres” but has been translated for What’s on Netflix.
How many titles are being added to Netflix in 2022 vs previous years?
So far, compared to 2021, Netflix is on track to release more series (fiction and/or documentary) in 2022 but less movies and documentaries.
In all the other categories, the numbers almost mirror that of 2021, but they might pick up in the second part of 2022.
How is Netflix doing on Quality in 2022?
What are the best-reviewed shows, films and series of 2022 so far?
For this experiment, we’ll be using IMDb and Letterboxd (for films) to see the best-reviewed content of 2022 so far.
Keep in mind that the IMDb average can sometimes be unreliable due to what’s called review bombing (which happens for Netflix content being “too woke,” for example).
In the top 5 films on IMDb and Letterboxd, we find 3 films in common in both IMDb and Letterboxd in the form of Hustle, Apollo 10 1/2, and The Bombardment.
Top 5 Netflix Movies on IMDb so far in 2022:
- The Bombardment
- Apollo 10 1/2
- Rescued by Ruby
- The Falls
Top 5 Netflix Movies on Letterboxd so far in 2022:
- Trees of Peace
- Apollo 10 1/12: A Space Age Childhood
- The Bombardment
Regarding documentaries and documentary series, true crime and nature docs remain at the top of the charts throughout the first half of 2022.
The top 5 documentaries on IMDb ratings are as follows:
- Gladbeck: The Hostage Crisis
- Surviving Paradise: A Family Tale
- Downfall: The Case Against Boeing
- Return to Space
- The Tinder Swinderl
The top 5 docu-series for this year so far have been:
- Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy
- Our Great National Parks
- Wild Babies
- The Andy Warhol Diaries
- The Secret Life of Our Pets
As for series and animated series, content from Asia lead the charts.
It could be one of the reasons why Netflix’s growth in Asia is the best of all the territories so far in 2022. However, Heartstopper still remains the best-reviewed new series of 2022 to this day.
Best rated debut series in 2022 according to IMDb:
- Our Blues
- My Liberation Notes
- Business Proposal
Best IMDb animated series so far in 2022:
- Kotaro Lives Alone
- The Cuphead Show!
- Human Resources
- Thermae Rome Nova
Finally, shows have been very diverse this year so far, with dating shows, cooking shows and the German version of Queer eye which have been well-received. The posthumous stand-up comedy from Norm MacDonald reigns too.
Top 5 Reality Series on Netflix So Far in 2022 according to IMDb:
- Love on the Spectrum U.S.
- The Apprentice
- Queer Eye: Germany
- Iron Chef
- Making Fun
Best IMDb stand-up specials so far in 2022:
- Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special
- Ricky Gervais: Supernature
- Taylor Tomlinson: Look At You
- Oprah + Viola
- Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian
A few weeks ago, I took a closer look at the evolution of the quality of Netflix shows from 2013 (for series) and 2015 (for films). Halfway through 2022, the least we can say is that 2022 has been pretty lackluster so far, with the average new film and series showing a steep decline.
It should pick up steam in the second half of the year as Netflix will release its slate of prestige films and series but they will have to be very good.
What shows and movies have had the biggest debuts on Netflix?
Finally, we also have a full six months of data coming from Netflix based on hours viewed for titles.
Please keep in mind that I prefer to talk in complete viewings, meaning that I take the hours viewed shared by Netflix and divide them by the runtime of films and seasons of series to better account for different runtimes.
Here are my awards of the year so far:
Best first week for an English-speaking Netflix Original film (in millions of complete viewings)
The Adam Project ruled this first half of 2022 but Hustle did also surprisingly well, especially considering that it is the only film of the list that is also featured in the Top 5 best-reviewed films of 2022.
Best first week for a non-English speaking Netflix Original film (in millions of complete viewings)
This chart is dominated by the Swedish action film Black Crab with Noomi Rapace.
Through My Window and the Turkish movie In Good Hands also had great debuts.
Best first week for a Netflix Original documentary (in millions of complete viewings)
It’s a Tinder Swindler world and we’re just living in it. Netflix mentionned a few months back that it was their most popular documentary ever, which shows in this chart.
It also charted very well in the following weeks following its release.
Best first week for a new English-speaking Netflix Original series (in millions of complete viewings)
Netflix was right to have gambled on this spin-off for Vikings.
With 11.9 million complete viewings in its first week, it was the most watched debut series of the first semester of 2022. It also got a swift 2-seasons renewal.
Best first week for a new non-English speaking Netflix Original series (in millions of complete viewings)
The difference between English and non-English content performance in the Top 10 can be quite big (especially in films) but All of us are dead posted a fantastic first week, on par with the most successful English series
Best first week for a new season of a Netflix Original series (in millions of complete viewings)
Finally, the best returning series of the first semester of 2022 for Netflix were Stranger Things (duh!), Bridgerton, The Umbrella Academy and Ozark. Raising Dion is in 6th position, not enough to avoid cancellation. Netflix still has a long way to go in its quest to have a new Stranger Things or Bridgerton every month and it will have to do without Ozark from now on.
If you want weekly reports on Netflix’s Top 10 that go beyond the hours viewed, make sure to subscribe to netflixandchiffres.substack.com. It’s in French but charts don’t have a specific language.