Netflix's streaming library may boast thousands of titles spanning every genre imaginable, but only a handful of those titles are able to claim the title of its most-watched TV shows and movies. Although the streaming giant is typically secretive about its viewing data, in recent months it has begun to release select info on some of its most popular premieres, even giving subscribers and critics a little information in January on how they collect their data.
According to the streamer, and as read in a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly, a view only counts "once a view surpasses 70 percent of the total running time, including credits," meaning that those who viewed only a portion of the movie before stopping do not have their views count. Additionally, any subsequent views of the film or series from the same account do not count.
With that in mind, Netflix subscribers are doing plenty of binges according to the information coinciding with the most-watched series and films on the streamer.
'Stranger Things: Season 3'
Premiering on July 4, 2019, Stranger Things' third outing proved to be a record breaker. The Duffer Brothers-created trip to the Upside Down generated 64-million views within its first four weeks on the platform, making it Netflix's most-watched original series of all time.
The October announcement came after the streaming giant announced in July that Season3 had been viewed by 40.7 million household accounts within its first four days of availability, with 18.2 million completing the entire season, making it the most successful Netflix release.
Given its success, it's no surprise that Stranger Things has already been picked up for a fourth season.prevnext
Inspired by the real events in The Marshall Project and ProPublica Pulitzer Prize-winning article, "An Unbelievable Story of Rape," written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, Netflix's eight-episode mini series Unbeleivable not only drew plenty of buzz on social media, but also plenty of views.
Premiering on the streamer in Sept. 13, the Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, and Merritt Wever-led series generated 32 million household views in its first 28 days on the platform, Netflix announced earlier this month.prevnext
'Orange Is the New Black'
Stranger Things Season 3 may take the cake as the most-watched season of a series ever, but Orange Is the New Black holds the title for most-watched series ever, with 105 million households having tuned in for at least one episode of the Jenji Kohan-created series over the course of its run. The news was announced in July, just ahead of its seventh and final season premiere.
Originally premiering in 2013, OITNB remains a staple on the streaming giant and has been regarded as one of the series that paved the way for Netflix Originals.prevnext
'Dead to Me'
Christina Applegate-led dramedy Dead to Me was watched by 30 million subscribers during its first month on Netflix, the streamer revealed in July. Premiering on the platform in May, the series also earned Applegate an Emmy nomination for lead actress.
Dead to Me has already been renewed for a second season.prevnext
'The Perfect Date' and 'Always Be My Maybe'
The Perfect Date
After becoming a breakout star in the streamer's popular romcom To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Noah Centineo went on to star in one of Netflix's most successful films: The Perfect Date.
Dropping on the streaming giant in April, the Chris Nelson-directed film, following a high school student's unconventional efforts to save money for college by way of a dating app, was viewed by 48 million households in just four weeks.
Always Be My Maybe
Ali Wong and Randall Park's May-premiering romcom Always Be My Maybe wracked up 32 million views worldwide.
The film follows he story of childhood friends Sasha and Marcus who reconnect after 15 years when Sasha, a Los Angeles celebrity chef, returns to her hometown of San Francisco. In the midst of opening a new restaurant, she runs into Marcus, a complacent musician who never left their hometown, sparking old flames.prevnext
'When They See Us'
In June, the streamer revealed that 25 million accounts worldwide viewed Ava DuVernay's miniseries When They See Us, which centers on the Central Park Five. DuVernay had initially reported on Twitter that the series had been viewed by 23 million people.
"Imagine believing the world doesn't care about real stories of black people," the Selma filmmaker wrote. "It always made me sad. So when Netflix just shared with me that 23M+ accounts worldwide have watched [When They See Us], I cried. Our stories matter and can move across the globe. A new truth for a new day."prevnext
'Murder Mystery' and 'The Umbrella Academy'
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston's murder mystery film, aptly titled Murder Mystery, proved to be a major success for the streamer when it was streamed by nearly 31 million people in the first three days it was available, with nearly half of those streams coming from the U.S. alone.
Those numbers ticked up to 73 million views within its first four weeks, marking the most successful installment n Netflix's partnership with Sandler.
The film proved to be so successful that it was revealed earlier this month that Netflix has reportedly greenlit a sequel. According to reports, James Vanderbilt is in negotiations to return as the screenwriter.
The Umbrella Academy
According to an April quarterly call from Netflix's executives, the streamer's adaptation of the Eisner award-winning comics and graphic novels created and written by Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy, had been streamed by 45 million households within just four weeks of its premiere.
At the time of the announcement, the series had already been picked up for a second season.prevnext
'Triple Frontier' and 'The Highwaymen'
Debuting on Netflix in March, Charlie Hunnam-starring film Triple Frontier was viewed 52 million times within its first four weeks on the platform, a number that jumped to 62 million viewers as of July.
Costing a whopping $115 million to produce, along with Hunnam, the film stars Ben Affleck, Pedro Pascal, Garret Hedlund, and Oscar Isaac as old military pals who plan a heist but wind up in a volatile situation after too many things go wrong.
Starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner as the Texas Rangers who tracked down Bonnie and Clyde, The Highwaymen was on track to reach 40 million views as of April, just weeks after its premiere.
"The Highwaymen (starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as two lawmen that bring Bonnie and Clyde to justice) is on track to being watched by over 40 million member households in its first month," the streamer announced in its shareholder meeting in April.
Netflix has not revealed the total streaming numbers for the film.prevnext
'Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Was' and 'Our Planet'
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Was
The Fyre Festival fiasco may have been a disaster for attendees and may have landed co-founder Billy McFarland a six-year prison sentence, but its retelling in documentary form on Netflix was a win. Premiering on the streamer in February, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Was received 20 million views within the first month of its release.
Given that the documentary premiered at the same time as Hulu's Fyre documentary, Fyre Fraud, the numbers are very impressive.
Netflix's travels from the remote Arctic wilderness and mysterious deep oceans to the vast landscapes of Africa and diverse jungles of South America in Our Planet was a ratings success. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough and in partnership with World Wildlife Fund, the eight-part series, exploring the wonders of our natural world, was on track to earn 40 million views in its first month of release, the streamer revealed in April.
Netflix's psychological thriller You beat out the likes of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Friends and Brooklyn Nine-Nine when, following its Dec. 2018 Netflix premiere, was named the most-watched series of the week in early January. The streamer revealed later that month that the series had been viewed by 40 million accounts within its first four weeks on the platform.
The series' success came after it moved from Lifetime to Netflix. It has been renewed for a second season.prevnext
'Sex Education' and 'Elite'
The birds and the bees proved to be a popular topic among Netflix's subscribers. When the British comedy Sex Education made its way to the streaming giant in January of this year, 40 million accounts were on track to stream it within its first month. Netflix announced those numbers just days after its debut.
Starring Asa Butterfield as socially awkward teen Otis Milburn who lives with his mom Jean (Gillian Anderson), who also happens to be a sex therapist, Sex Education has been picked up for a sophomore run.
Within its first four weeks on the service, the Spanish-language teen drama Elite reached 20 million people.
Set at Las Encinas, a private school where the children of rich Spanish families go, Elite follows a group of students whose cushy lives are changed when three working-class children have to attend Las Encinas after their own school is destroyed in an earthquake. To make matters more difficult, there is a murder at the school, and it is not clear who committed it.
It was announced in October that the series had been given a Season 3 renewal.prevnext
After hitting the streaming library in over the holiday season, Netflix's Sandra Bullock-led thriller Bird Box was on track to be viewed by over 80 million member households in the first four weeks following its release, the company revealed in their letter to shareholders.
In January, the streamer revealed that it had been streamed an approximate 45,037,125 between Friday, Dec. 21, and as of Friday, Dec. 28, at the time making it the best first seven days for a Netflix film.prev