Welcome to your weekly rundown of the biggest stories from Netflix’s top 10 hourly figures drop for the week ending January 1st, 2023.
Netflix updates its top 10 stats page weekly with 40 new hourly figures of the top movies and shows of the past seven days. If you want to browse the top 10 hourly data easily, visit our tool.
Last week, Netflix also released its top 40 list for the entire year, which we’ve summarized here.
Note: In this report of Netflix’s hours viewed from December 26th, 2022, to January 1st, 2023, we’ll use “Complete Viewings Equivalent,” or CVE, expressed in millions. That means we divide the hours viewed announced by Netflix by the runtime of films or series. It allows for better comparisons between films and series, but it’s not an audience metric. It is the minimum number of viewings if they were all complete from the first second to the last of the film or season.
1. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is going strong in its second week – enters all-time top 10 movies list
After its OK start last week, we were anxious to see how Glass Onion would perform in its second week and it did great with a total now of 90.4 million CVEs after 10 days. It’s already surpassed The Gray Man and now looks to reach The Adam Project as the most-watched Netflix film of 2022.
Can it manage that? Well, my prediction so far is that it will end up between 125M and 135M EVCs for its first 28 days due to a lack of competition. Over or under The Adam Project? Place your bets!
2. White Noise makes a little noise
It’s hard for any auteur film out there, but Noah Baumbach’s latest outing, White Noise, did quite OK considering the source material with 6.5M CVEs in its first three days.
When we compare to other prestige Netflix films released on a Friday, it debuts behind The Lost Daughter, which had the same release date last year.
3. Espionage shows were the trend for the last few weeks of December 2022.
English Series released on a Monday are quite rare, but we have two examples of those in the last two months, so we can compare them! The espionage drama Treason with Charlie Cox started with 16.2M CVEs, quite a leg up from the 13.2M CVEs that Inside Man started with back in October.
Since we’re on the topic of espionage show, The Recruit with Noah Centineo dropped 55% in its third week (26.3M CVEs total). That seems a tad low for its renewal, so for this one, completion rates will be important.
4. Wednesday is also still going strong in its fifth week.
With all the talk about Glass Onion, we might have forgotten that Wednesday is still going strong and still number 1 for its fifth week.
It just surpassed the 210M CVEs mark, and if it can’t hope to beat Squid Game anytime soon, its performance is still quite out of this world (in streaming ratings).
5. The cancellation of 1899, explained by numbers.
2023 started with a bang with the news of the cancellation of 1899 after its first season.
This cancellation that we’d be hard-pressed to explain using only our CVE metric since the German series had one of the best launches of any new European series of 2022.
Alas, as we said repeatedly, the CVE metric is an arbitrary construct designed to compare programs between them but not an actual audience estimate.
So those 35M CVEs can also be represented as 60M CVEs for the first four episodes and 10M CVE for the last four ones and we would still have an average of 35M CVEs.
But the decay rate of the series is presumably what drove this decision. But how can we look at a decay rate for a series?
Some data companies such as Digital i provide some numbers, but I prefer to use another method, and that’s public data coming from the TVTime app.
On this app, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world log every day what they are watching, episode by episode, giving us some insight into how many watch the whole season.
It’s still an imperfect point of comparison as TV Time members are avid fans of series, but if we compare the decay rate between the first and last episode of 1899 to the three other series, here’s what we find :
1899 lost 24% of its viewers between the first and the last episode among TVTime members. That’s way more than the other series, and some of that can be attributed to the fact that 1899 is still quite relatively new and some people still haven’t had the time to finish it.
Still, if we take a look at other new series that were either renewed or canceled in 2022, a pattern seems to emerge.
Not shown on the graph here is Heartstopper that has a 4,6% decay rate on TV Time, the best in class.
The only one that seems out of place here is Half Bad: The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself which was ultimately canceled, but its CVE numbers were not good to start with, so completion numbers might not have even mattered.
Marketing and promotion are a double-edged sword when it comes to Netflix shows.
1899 has been one of the most hyped and promoted new international shows of the year by Netflix and because of it, many people probably tuned in, but too many of those tuned out, leading to a more important decay rate that led to its cancellation.
It’s also important to note that it’s highly probable that if that show had been released between 2018 and 2021, it probably would have been renewed. But this is 2023, and the landscape is quite different for Netflix. Especially for a pricey show such as 1899.