Netflix's claim that Bird Box was a massive success for them has now been confirmed by the Neilsen ratings, which reveal that 26 million users watched the film in its first week of release.
According to Variety, the Neilson group backed up Netflix's statement that Bird Box was the most watched original film during first week release. The ratings-measuring organization shared that based on their calculations from Dec. 21 to Dec. 27, Bird Box was the the biggest film in the United States.
They clarified that it was only the U.S. that they surveyed, so the film could have been a huge hit in other global markets as well.
Notably, while Netflix rarely shares its streaming data with outside sources, Neilson was able to confirm that the only Netflix project more watched than Bird Box was their retro sci-fi hit Stranger Things.
Another interesting fact that Neilson stumbled upon was that, while it's clearly the streaming services' most successful film to date, 2017's Bright — which starred Will Smith and Joel Edgerton — actually had higher premiere day numbers, bringing in just over five million more viewers in the first 24 hours.
However, Bright's numbers took a downtick fairly quickly once negative reviews began to emerge, and Bird Box ended up soaring after strong word-of-mouth recommendations from fans and critics alike.
Bird Box is a post-apocalyptic story about a woman trying to navigate her way through the wilderness while trying to protect two children and avoid the unseen creatures that have devastated the Earth by causing their victims to commit suicide.
Susanne Bier, the film's director, opened up to io9 about the film, sharing just why she chose to keep the monsters invisible.
“I’ve always felt the point in scary movies before you see the monster is the most scary. Once you saw the monster you were like, ‘Oh, really.’ So I wanted to make a movie which had the suspense of that moment for the two hours,” Bier admitted.
“There’s something out there. It taps into our deepest fear and everybody’s individual deepest fear is different from the others,” she continued. “But we’re not going to see that because you can’t really do that. [So] how can we do something which maintains the suspense without ever revealing it? That was a real challenge but also something really exciting.”
She later opened up about her approach to the story, sharing that its structure is similar to that of a "romantic comedy."0comments
“You go, ‘Okay, they hate each other and therefore they’re going to fall in love.’ And here you know she’s on her own so [everyone else] is going to go," she continued. "But the interesting and mysterious thing is how? What is the mystery that we are unraveling in order to get to where she is in the present time?”
Bird Box is now streaming on Netflix.