Welcome to your weekly rundown of the biggest stories from Netflix’s top 10 hourly figures drop for the week ending September 24th, 2023. Lots to cover this week, including Spy Kids: Armageddon, Love is Blind, Sex Education, Murdaugh Murders, The Black Book, Jaane Jaan, and Dear Child.
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.
Note: In this report of Netflix’s hours viewed from September 18th, 2023 to September 25th, 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.
Now, onto the big stories from Netflix this week:
1. Sex Education is back for a disappointing start.
The fourth and final season of British hit series Sex Education is back and its opening week-end is not doing wonders with only 12M CVEs in four days, a quite signifant decay from the launch of season 3
Now, this launch might suggest that season 3 did not achieve a high completion rate which in turn has an impact on the launch of season 4.
Most notably, the series failed to get any previous seasons back in the Top 10 this week, which is usually true for hit series. All this might point to why this fourth season is the final season.
2. Spy Kids’s licence is dead for good.
Netflix probably thought it would be a good idea to revive the Spy Kids license but its subscribers could not care less about it as the film launched with a dismal 6.7M CVEs over its first three days. I will not add insult to injury by comparing this launch with other big Netflix US films, but even if we compare this launch to the ones of other Netflix family movies released over the past two years, the disaster that is Spy Kids is quite apparent.
How can Spy Kids launch with less than The Water Man from David Oyewolo, which you probably forgot even existed? That’s for the Netflix data analysts guys to figure out.
They’d have been better off doing a sequel to We Can Be Heroes, which still resides in the all-time top 10.
3. Some international successes from Nigeria and India.
Nigerian film The black book did the best launch for any Netflix African film released on a Friday with 5.6M CVEs, and it did very well outside of its borders.
Nollywood and South Africa are the main providers of Netflix films on the continent as of now, and it’s nice to see some of them getting some traction.
The same can be said for India, where Netflix India finally managed to get another success in films with Jaane Jaan, which did the best launch for a Netflix film coming out of the Asia-Pacific zone and released on a Thursday with 8.1M CVEs.
4. The second season of Murdaugh Murders can’t reproduce the success of the first season.
The first season of the true-crime docu-series Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal was big. Like really, really big, as it was released during the trial of the case.
So Netflix understandably ordered a second season that would deal with the aftermath of the trial, but it just didn’t click in the same right way with the audience for its launch at just 7.6M CVEs over its first five days.
The most notable aspect of that release though is that the first season managed to get back in the Top 10 this week, like any Netflix series would do when new seasons are out.
5. Love is Blind disappointed for its return.
Season 5 of the reality TV hit show Love is Blind is back with four episodes, and the first batch of released episodes shows that this fifth season is not doing the numbers that we were accustomed to with previous seasons, scoring just 3M CVEs over its first three days, when season 4 had 5.4M or season 2 4.6M.
It may be time to think about evolving the format.
6. Dear Child is still doing impressive numbers.
The German limited series Dear Child is killing it out there in its third week with a minimal loss from week 2 to week 3. Per my estimations, after its first 14 days, the series is the third-best launch for any new Netflix International series released since June 2021, behind Squid Game and All of Us Are Dead.
Limited series can do wonders for Netflix as they offer a variety of stories to tell without the fear of being canceled. Let’s hope they keep producing them.
7. WGA and the studios managed to get along after a lengthy strike and some points of the agreement are interesting to notice.
In the Agreement signed between the WGA and the AMPTP (an association of studios and streamers), the language used is quite interesting as the streamers (including Netflix, of course) agreed to share hours streamed in the US and Canada but also in the world with writers through the WGA (and protected by a confidentiality agreement we might add). Now, for Netflix showrunners, they already had that total hours streamed numbers if their series was doing decent enough to be in the Top 10, but the distinction between the US/Canada and the rest of the world is more of a secret.
The second interesting aspect is the performance-metric bonus, which will give more money to writers of successful shows on streaming. Now, how is that success measured? I’m glad you asked since this performance metric is achieved by dividing the total number of domestic views (or CVEs in the US and Canada) over the first 90 days of release by the total number of subscribers in the US and Canada.
If that number is superior to 20%, this will unlock the performance-metric bonus. That seems like a sensible thing to do, all things considered. For Netflix, it will mean that high-budget films or series reaching 15M CVEs in the US and Canada after 90 days will be eligible for that bonus. For Disney+, the threshold will be 9M CVEs.
CVEs, 90 days, hours viewed, it feels like a territory we’ve come to know quite well, so we won’t be lost in this new media landscape.
That’s all for this week; feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.