The Most-Viewed Movie in One Week Is a Netflix Hit

Netflix just set a new record for the most-streamed movie in a single week with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Newly released data shows that the movie was viewed more times in its first full week than the previous record-holders, Hocus Pocus 2 and Wonder Woman 1984. According to a report by Deadline, Glass Onion was watched for a total of 2.9 billion minutes on Netflix from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

This new viewership record is based on data from Neilsen, the company that tracks broadcast and cable TV ratings and now collates all available data from the streaming industry as well. This record is strictly for the U.S., not global viewership. A common thread among all these contenders is that they are highly anticipated sequels to movies that were theatrical successes, but are more easily available on streaming themselves.

Knives Out became a sensation in 2019 when it introduced eccentric detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), but even then some fans were surprised by Netflix's plan for a sequel franchise. The move from widespread theatrical releases to the Netflix model for Glass Onion was disappointing for some fans, although it may have been fortuitous coming after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Glass Onion premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and it got one of Netflix's limited theatrical releases starting in November. In fact, this movie got the widest theatrical release Netflix has ever given a film, surpassing the bare minimum required to make it an award-season contender. Still, many fans were clearly waiting for it to hit Netflix on Dec. 23, 2022.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman 1984 was considered by some to be one of the movie industry's biggest concessions during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was scheduled for theatrical release in June 2020 but was delayed until Dec. 15 when it premiered on the DC FanDome virtual platform. It then got a simultaneous release on HBO Max and in theaters at the same time.

Finally, Hocus Pocus 2 premiered last year – a long-awaited sequel to Disney's 1993 film Hocus Pocus with many of the original stars returning. This movie premiered exclusively on Disney+, driving new or lapsed subscribers to the platform rather than to theaters. Its nostalgic value combined with its exclusivity makes its streaming success a no-brainer.

It's also no surprise that Netflix has a sequel to Glass Onion in the works after its recent historic success. Netflix's contract with filmmaker Rian Johnson ensures at least one more film about Benoit Blanc, and Johnson has said he hopes to make more. The script for the next movie is reportedly in the works, but there's no hint yet about when it might premiere. Knives Out and Glass Onion are both streaming now on Netflix.