Sandra Bullock played sightless mum in Bird Box for her kids

Eloise Marshall
January 1, 2019

Netflix's original horror flick Bird Box is having something of a moment, if you haven't noticed.

The streaming service said Friday that "Bird Box", a new movie starring Sandra Bullock, was viewed by more than 45 million subscribers in its first seven days on the platform, the most for the first week of a movie's availability. If it's a good show, you deserve an Emmy.

The number of individual viewers who've watched "Bird Box" could easily be higher than 45 million, with multiple profiles per account and the high prevalence of account sharing.

"There was a time when one of the producers was like, "No, you have to see something at some point" and forced me to write essentially a nightmare sequence where Malorie experiences one in that house", Heisserer said. The company released Bird Box worldwide, so about one in three Netflix accounts streamed the movie.

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On the few other occasions that the streaming giant has revealed numbers, it announced that over 80 million subscribers watched at least one original romantic comedy earlier this summer, led by the breakout hit To All the Boys I've Loved Before. That's a fair bit of Bird-watching! It could be a great deal more than 45 million. Every Netflix "account" accommodates five users.

After finding a larger audience with television series such as "Orange is the New Black" and "Stranger Things", Netflix has taken a deeper dive into film this year with movies like "Bird Box", "Roma" and "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", the three films that received a theatrical release window. But it's also important to note that Netflix is counting by accounts. And Netflix is counting each account once, even if the account streamed Bird Box multiple times.

That doesn't mean we have to like it.

For people like you and me, maybe it's not that big a deal whether Netflix (and its streaming competitors) report numbers like this under the rosiest possible scenarios.

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