Netflix has announced that Martin Scorsese’s new mob movie The Irishman has been watched by over 26m accounts in its first seven days on the streaming service.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, announced the figures at a conference in New York. According to Sarandos, just over 26.4m accounts worldwide watched the film for at least 70% of its running time, which Netflix says its viewership totals are based on. This follows a report from the ratings agency Nielsen on Friday, which said that the film secured 13.2m views in its first five days of streaming in the US alone, over the Thanksgiving holiday.
By comparison, Netflix has previously announced that the Sandra Bullock thriller Bird Box recorded 45m views over its first seven days, and the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston comedy Murder Mystery was streamed 30.9m times in its first three-day weekend.
The Irishman was released on Netflix on 27 November, after cinema releases in most major territories – including the US on 1 November, the UK on 8 November, and Australia on 13 November. In line with its usual practice, Netflix has not released box-office results.
The film was boycotted by a number of major cinema chains due to Netflix’s refusal to adhere to the traditional “theatrical window” before releasing it on home entertainment formats. Partly to compensate for its limited presence in cinemas, Netflix booked The Irishman to play for a month at New York’s celebrated Belasco theatre on Broadway.
Despite being a vocal enthusiast for the cinema-going experience, Scorsese has defended his decision to accept Netflix’s financial backing, saying: “Having the backing of a company that says that you will have no interference, you can make the picture as you want – the trade-off being: it streams, with theatrical distribution prior to that. I figure that’s a chance we take on this particular project.”