Netflix Top 10s: The Chosen One, Depp V Heard, The Monkey King, The Upshaws S4

All the big stories from this week's top 10s for the week ending August 20th, 2023.

Frédéric Durand What's on Netflix Avatar

netflix top 10 report the monkey king the chosen one depp v heard

Pictured: The Monkey King, The Chosen One, Depp V Heard

Welcome to your weekly rundown of the biggest stories from Netflix’s top 10 hourly figures drop for the week ending August 20th, 2023.

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. Using that data, we can then benchmark those titles that featured vs other Netflix Originals that have released in the past.

Note: In this report of Netflix’s hours viewed from August 14th, 2023 to August 20th, 2023, we’ll use “Complete Viewings Equivalent,” or CVE, expressed in millions. That is the same metric used now by Netflix in its Top 10 following the June 2023 update in methodology. 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. The Monkey King doesn’t rule the charts.

The new Netflix animated movie The Monkey King was released last week and I have some good and bad news about its launch.

Let’s start with the bad one as its launch is an average one at best for a Netflix animated movie released on a Friday with 8.1M CVEs in three days, half of what The Sea Beast did last summer for instance. Now for the good news: it’s also the best launch for a Netflix animated movie released in 2023, narrowly besting The Magician’s Elephant but far above Nimona. So things are looking up as Leo and Chicken Run 2 are approaching.

the monkey king netflix viewership cve animated movies

The Monkey King vs other Netflix Original animated movies

2. Depp v. Heard is making a splash in the charts

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s case might have been the center of attention on social networks when it happened but the release of the documentary series about it on Netflix last week did not break records as its launch of 16.3M CVEs came in just under the 17M CVEs of the release of Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, released in February. But these are good numbers in the grand scheme of things.

depp v heard vs other netflix documentaries viewership cve

Depp v Heard vs Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

3. A Life Too Short: The Isabella Nardoni Case is the surprise #1 film in the international chart.

It’s very rare that a documentary rules the international chart and I even think it never happened since Netflix started to release weekly Top 10. So kudos to Brazilian doc “A life too short: The Isabella Nardoni Case” for this achievement as the true crime documentary launched with 5.7M CVEs, the best launch for an international Netflix doc.

a life too short netflix viewership cve

A Life Too Short: The Isabella Nardoni Case vs other Netflix Original international documentaries

Since it only appeared in the weekly Top 10 of a dozen countries last week, it’s fair to assume that the documentary did most of its viewing in Brazil and Latin America, but that was enough to reach #1 in a fairly drab week for new international films.

4. The Upshaws? More like The “down show”.

When it comes to the American (old school) sitcom The Upshaws, its goal can’t be none other than “being watched in the US and the US alone.” And it did that with a fourth place in the weekly US chart and a presence in other charts around the world, in the Caribbean and Africa mostly. But that does not mean its numbers are good too, because when we compare to other new seasons of US shows released on a Thursday, the comparison is brutal.

the upshaws s4 netflix viewership cve

The Upshaws S4 vs other returning Netflix shows

Now, it might get renewed as it’s not an expensive show and might achieve the goals set out by Netflix, but it would still be an oddity in the Netflix landscape.

5. The Chosen One is not chosen by the audiences (so far).

Remember in 2018 when Netflix announced the first slate of films and series based on the stories of Mark Millar following the acquisition of comic book company Millarworld? Two series were planned, the first one being Jupiter’s Legacy and the second one being American Jesus, but adapted as a Mexican multilingual series and renamed The Chosen One. Jupiter’s Legacy was a bomb and was promptly canceled (we do not have Netflix numbers for it, unfortunately) and The Chosen One did not do any miracle following its release last week as it launched with 3.1M CVEs over its first five days. That’s low by any metric, especially if we focus only on new Netflix Mexican series.

the chosen one cve viewership

The Chosen One vs. other Mexico series

Now, it seems to pick up the pace this week, and we’ll see how it does, but that’s two flops for Millarworld at this point in time.

The three film projects announced in 2018 (Empress, Huck, and Sharkey the Bounty Hunter) are still nowhere to be found or even produced, five years in.

Written by

Residing in Normandy in France, Frédéric is an avid Netflix follower hosting the French-language podcast Netflixers and running the Netflix & Chiffres substack. For What's on Netflix, Frédéric does deep dives into the weekly top 10s and pioneer the completed viewing equivalent that Netflix adopted themselves.