Netflix's new Top 10 list feature shows what people around the country are watching each day, and the hits can be surprising. On any given day the new category may be split between Netflix originals, old classic and hidden gems from the service's immense catalogue. This week, it is a mix of all three.
Netflix puts a massive library of media at every subscriber's fingertips, with movies spanning decades and an eclectic mix of genres, styles and target age ranges. Even with all that, however, the service often leaves users with paralysis by analysis, unable to choose what to watch with the whole breadth of offers spread out before them.
The company's latest effort to ease the decision-making process is the daily Top 10 list, showing 10 TV shows and 10 movies that are getting the most views in a user's home country on any given day. The two lists are a rare glimpse inside Netflix's ratings and metrics, which are often kept secretive within the company.
They also show something of the disparity within Netflix's offerings. While the advent of streaming fit nicely into the "golden age of TV," it did not cause the same explosion in filmmaking. While the Top 10 TV shows are usually prestige programs and often Netflix original series, the movies are far more diverse.
In recent months, Netflix has accelerated its push to get into the movie industry. The service even made Martin Scorsese's latest movie, The Irishman, which was nominated for best picture at the Oscars. On the flip side, it has delved into blockbuster action flicks like 6 Underground as well.
In spite of these efforts, however, few Netflix original films sit on the Top 10 list. Here's a look at the movies people in the U.S. are watching today.
10 - Cop Out
At the bottom of Wednesday's Top 10 movies list is Cop Out, a 2010 buddy cop comedy starring Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan and Seann William Scott. It is one of the few movies directed but not written by filmmaker Kevin Smith, and remains one of his most controversial.
9 - He's Just Not That Into You
The 2009 rom-com He's Just Not That Into You holds a high place on Netflix's list on Wednesday as well. The movie has an all-star cast, including Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, and Justin Long. There seems to be no particular reason the decade-old comedy is trending, but no reason it shouldn't be.
8 - Valentine's Day
Another ensemble rom-com sits in the slot above -- Valentine's Day. The 2010 movie also follows the format of loosely connected vignettes, much like He's Just Not That Into You or Love Actually. This one features the debut film performance of Taylor Swift, and also stars Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Héctor Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts and Julia Roberts.
7 - Outbreak
Of all the movies on Wednesday's list, sadly, the 1995 disaster movie Outbreak might make the most sense. Users began seeking the movie out this week as anxiety about the spread of Coronavirus rose up.
Outbreak concerns the catastrophic spread of a virus called Motaba, similar to Ebola, and spends a lot of time in dramatic scenes at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It stars Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman.
6 - Kung Fu Panda 2
The Jack Black-led animated martial arts comedy Kung Fu Panda 2 seems to be the most popular movie among kids watching Netflix on Wednesday. The first film in the franchise is not available on Netflix, though even if it were we can't know for certain that it would have beaten out its 2011 sequel. Netflix also has the Kung Fu Panda Awesome Secrets Collection, the Kun Fu Panda Holiday special and Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of The Scroll.
5 - Life As We Know It
Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel co-starred in Life As We Know It, a 2011 romantic comedy with a dark twist. They play the two characters who generally dislike each other, but tolerate each other because their best friends are married. They are named godparents to the friends' baby, and shortly afterwards, the friends both die in a car crash, forcing them to raise the baby girl together.
4 - Freaks
After a year of success at film festivals around the world, Freaks is finally available on Netflix for folks around the world to see. The sci-fi thriller shows that blockbuster hits are not the only guaranteed win for Netflix subscribers, sitting comfortably at number 4 on the list despite being released in December.
The movie centers around a 7-year-old girl with mysterious powers, confused and torn between adults who want to steer her towards their own mysterious goals. It stars Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Amanda Crew, Grace Park and, of course, Lexy Kolker as the young protagonist.
3 - Space Jam
It could be the onset of March Madness, the recent death of an NBA legend or the anticipation for Space Jam 2 that has the 1996 cult classic Space Jam near the top of Netflix's list this Wednesday. Whatever it is, the movie stands as perhaps the best indicator of the power of nostalgia, especially in Netflix's catalog.
2 - The Angry Birds Movie 2
Last summer's animated children's movie The Angry Birds 2 shattered all expectations with a total box office gross of $154.7 million, so in a way it makes sense to see it at the number 2 spot on Netflix. While the movie got mixed reviews, it was aimed at children, and parents can be forgiven for putting on whatever the kids will watch for a moment or two.
1 - Spenser Confidential
Finally, the only Netflix original film on Wednesday's Top 10 list also holds the number one spot -- Spenser Confidential. The movie was just released last week, and is already a big hit for the franchise.
Spenser Confidential stars Mark Wahlberg, Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Iliza Schlesinger and Marc Maron. It also features rapper Post Malone in his first major film role. It follows Wahlberg, a disgraced former Boston cop, who was sent to prison for intervening in a domestic dispute. After being released, he tries to track down those responsible for locking him up.
Netflix's Top 10 lists update daily.