Welcome to your weekly rundown of the biggest stories from Netflix’s top 10 hourly figures drop for the week ending November 13th, 2022.
Netflix updates its top 10 stats page weekly with 40 new hourly figures of the top movies and shows of the past 7 days. If you want to browse the top 10 hourly data easily, visit our tool.
Note: In this report of Netflix’s hours viewed from November 7th to November 13th, 2022, 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. However, in its latest letter to shareholders, Netflix used the CVE metric to talk about The Gray Man, so there’s value in this metric, however imperfect it might be.
1. Falling for Christmas and Lost Bullet 2 broke some records.
One thing that’s very difficult to do when writing about Netflix’s hours viewed is to draw apple-to-apple comparisons. Runtime, release day of the week, nationality, all those factors are important and must be accounted for when one’s trying to make sense of it all.
This week, two new records have been broken by two newly released Netflix films.
With 30.5M CVE in four days, the return of Lindsay Lohan to romantic comedies beat The royal treatment and Love in the villa in its first four days. That’s the best opening for 4 days for an English-speaking film released on a Thursday.
On the international side, Lost bullet 2, the sequel to the French action film Lost bullet, launched with 14.6M CVE in also four days, making it the best launch for an international film released on a Thursday by quite a wide margin.
Sure, those films do not reach the heights of blockbuster films released on Fridays, such as Red Notice or The Adam Project, but they are now the kings in their little segments.
2. The Crown returns
Speaking of kings, last week saw the return of The Crown during what can only be described as the best/worst of times, depending on which side you are.
During its first 5 days, season 5 tallied 12.3M CVEs, quite an average launch for a new season of an English-speaking show on a Wednesday. That’s less than the returning seasons of Emily in Paris, The Umbrella Academy, or Virgin River.
There could be some explanations for this comparatively weak performance.
First, with ten episodes of one hour each, the series is quite long per Netflix standards, and longer series tend to be slow burns within in the top 10s.
The second explanation is that despite the pomp, hype, and controversy around it, The Crown is not what you could call a blockbuster series. It’s, first and foremost, a prestige series. If we look back on the previous numbers we had from Netflix about The Crown, season 2 was started by 13 million households during its first 28 days, while season 3 was started by 21 million households during the same period. So an equivalent of 12.3 million complete viewings of the whole season in only 5 days is not so bad after all.
3. Warrior Nun returns to a lackluster debut
Nearly two and a half years after the release of the first season, the long-delayed season 2 of Warrior Nun is back but someone will probably have to pray to God for this series to get a renewal.
With 4.5M CVEs in four days, it’s on the low end of returning series released on a Thursday for which we have numbers. It will all come down to its second week, completion rates and budget eventually but from where I stand, a renewal is not at all guaranteed.
4. Are Netflix Original animated films failing on Netflix?
So far, in 2022, Netflix has released 8 English-speaking animated films. Out of those 8, only 2 managed to break into the weekly Top 10, Riverdance and The Sea Beast, which became the most-watched animated film on Netflix over its launch period of 28 days.
But what should be the norm is now the exception, as this week, two new animated films did not make the charts.
The first one is The Soccer Football Movie, and the second is My Father’s Dragon by Nora Twomey, director of The Breadwinner and producer of Wolfwalkers. Their absence comes on the heels of the absence in the charts of Henry Sellick’s Wendell & Wild, Entergalactic (that probably suffered from shenanigans around its classification on the service between series and films), Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie and Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 1/2.
That’s not to say those films were not watched, but they weren’t watched enough to make it into the charts.
If we had to pinpoint the source of the problem, the easy hot take could be Netflix does not promote its animated films correctly!
The director of The Soccer Football Movie did say on Twitter that he had to edit a trailer himself for the film, as Netflix did not.
But on the other hand, Wendell & Wild was promoted a lot on social networks and is featured on Netflix’s For Your Consideration website with the high hope of getting Academy Awards nominations, same for Apollo 10 1/2. Those two did not break either in the charts. And countless programs without active promotion managed to break into weekly charts.
Per Flixpatrol, My Father’s Dragon did not break into any national daily Top 10 across the globe since its release last week. Hence, it makes you wonder if the obvious answer might be that even if the recommendation algorithm does its job of putting films in front of people (My Father’s Dragon appeared front and center on my homepage this weekend, for instance), it can’t force people to watch something they don’t want to watch.
Viewership works in mysterious ways.