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Netflix isn’t very transparent when it comes to the numbers and viewership side of their business, and it’s hard to blame them. Once movie studios let the cat out of the bag in the 1980s and started reporting box office numbers to tout their massive successes, they also left themselves open and vulnerable to journalists discussing their flops, their financial losses, and failures. Which is why movie studios aren’t always fully transparent when it comes to budgets, promotion and advertising costs and more, the media already knows enough and turning a profit for a big studio movie tends to be actually extremely difficult when you factor in the cut theaters take and international studios that release the films abroad.
Given all that, and how box office reporting backfired on studios, you can bet Netflix will never release its viewership numbers in the same way. However, the company has pulled back the veil a little bit this week, and they’re more than happy to start touting big successes minus any hard data or facts. Take “Bird Box,” the Sandra Bullock-starring supernatural post-apocalyptic horror/thriller directed by Academy Award-winning Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier (AMC’s “The Night Manager,” “After The Wedding”). When the movie, about supernatural entities that compel humans to commit suicide, debuted last week on December 21, it started trending on Twitter immediately, a somewhat rare phenomenon and it became the talk of social media. Perhaps that translated, as much as anything can with Netflix numbers, to a phenomenon at home because Netflix has reported that “Bird Box” has amassed the streaming networks’ biggest first week numbers—evidently 45 million people have already watched the movie so far.
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“Took off my blindfold this morning to discover that 45,037,125 Netflix accounts have already watched Bird Box — best first...
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