Welcome to your weekly rundown of the biggest stories from Netflix’s top 10 hourly figures drop for the week ending October 22, 2023. This week, we’ll be covering the debuts of Bodies, Old Dads, Big Mouth Season 7, Elite Season 7, and looking into Sweet Magnolias which was just renewed for a fourth season.
Every Tuesday, Netflix updates its top 10 stats page 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, which has just been updated with even more data from the Nielsen top 10s.
Note: In this report of Netflix’s hours viewed from October 16th, 2023 to October 22nd, 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.
Table of Contents
1. Old Dads is an American comedy all right.
As an American comedy without a major actor, Old Dads did quite an average launch, with 13.3M CVEs over its first week-end. It’s on par with You’re So Not Invited to My Bat-Mitzvah, which is also an American comedy without a major actor (Adam Sandler is not the lead in the film), but it’s also far from the opening weekend of You People with Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill.
2. The Devil on Trial conjures up an average audience.
I had great expectations for this documentary, which happens to be a true crime doc mixed with some religious undertones related to the one and only times the Devil himself has been on trial.
It had success written all over it, and if it did great in the US, it did not really resonate globally as the doc launched with 8.1M CVEs over its first six days, an average launch far from the reigning doc of 2023. The Hatched Wielding Hitchhiker was released in January.
3. Bodies is dead on arrival.
British series Bodies had a lot going for itself, too, with its attractive pitch (the same body is found in an alley in London in four different time periods, leaving four different investigators to solve the puzzle) and the fact that it is quite a slow end of year for English-speaking series but with only 5.5M CVEs over its first four days, this is not a good launch, even for a British Netflix series. Now audiences seem to enjoy it so that it might have long legs following such a disappointing start.
4. A Tale of Two Series: Big Mouth and Elite
Netflix’s release calendar works in mysterious ways, and last week, two returning series came back with a seventh season. On the face of it, they don’t share that many traits, since Elite is a Spanish young adult series and Big Mouth is an American animated series about teenagers but their numbers last week do share some very interesting aspects.
Let’s start with Big Mouth.
For its first three days, the seventh season of the show launched with 1.6M CVEs, which is a striking example of the law of diminishing returns in streaming audience. Look at that sharp fall season after season for the last three seasons we have numbers for.
So the series is steadily losing audience, season after season, since at least season 5. An eighth and final season is still being released in 2024, supposedly, so we will see if the trend continues, but the fact that it is a final season is quite understandable when you see the diminishing numbers.
Same goes for Elite, which is also renewed for an eighth and final season to come in 2024. And for this series as well, the drop from season 5 to season 7 is quite impressive, from 8.3M CVEs for the opening week-end of season 5 to 3M CVEs for the opening week-end of season 7.
What is extraordinary here about Elite is that season 3 of the show is still in the all-time international Top 10 with 50M CVEs over its first 91 days and that season 4 used to be not so long ago with 46M CVEs. So it’s fair to assume that Elite peaked with season 3 audience-wise, then slowly decreased in season 4 before starting to really plummet in seasons 5, 6, and then 7.
None of the previous seasons managed to crawl back into the Top 10 last week, so there’s another indication that it’s not the powerhouse it used to be and that the fact that the eighth season is the final season is also understandable.
5. Sweet Magnolias is renewed for a fourth season.
American drama Sweet Magnolias was renewed last week for a fourth season, which gives us a perfect opportunity to take a closer look at all the US series Netflix released in 2023 so far and their fate. Limited series are not displayed in the following chart as there was no renewal or cancellations involved, but here’s how we stand so far in 2023.
I know it’s a shocker, but if a series is watched on Netflix, it is renewed. There are a few anomalies in the graph, like the cancellation of Sex/Life, which did decent numbers or the rumored renewal of Unstable. There are also some unknown fates at the time of writing, with the most resounding silence on Netflix’s part being the fate of Shadow & Bone following the disappointing numbers of its second season. But besides that, there’s no big mystery in Netflix’s process for renewals. If it’s watched enough, it’s renewed.
That’s all for this week; feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.