The 10 Most Popular Netflix Original Movies, According to Their Data

Netflix has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in original film and television productions. The result was highly lucrative for the burgeoning entertainment powerhouse, with films like Rome and The power of the dog nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and TV shows such as Squid Game become a cultural juggernaut.

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Netflix’s own data tracks the popularity of all of its releases, and while the company has been famous for the ratings of their content in the past, in recent years it has started releasing data regarding the viewing figures of some of their content. most popular movies and television shows.

10 Enola Holmes (2020)

Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Homes in Enola Holmes

Starring Millie Bobby Brown as the titular Enola Holmes, sister of the world famous detective Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill), Enola Holmes became one of Netflix’s most-watched movies, with nearly 190 million hours of viewing time by Netflix users during its first 28 days of release. Millie Bobby Brown, in particular, was praised for her first major starring role, while Cavill’s portrayal of the iconic detective was also a highlight, even if it led to a lawsuit against Netflix.

With a high audience and critical score, it’s not surprising that Netflix went ahead with a sequel. Production on the sequel has recently been completed, so fans can expect Enola Holmes 2 to hit Netflix sometime in late 2022.

9 Spenser confidential (2020)

Starring Mark Wahlberg and Winston Duke in the lead roles, Spenser ConfidentialDirected by frequent Wahlberg collaborator Peter Berg, is an action comedy that failed to impress critics when it came out in 2020.

But despite a laborious plot that differs greatly from the source material, Spenser Confidential is a huge hit for Netflix, no doubt aided in part by the cinematic appeal of leading star, Mark Wahlberg. During its first six weeks on Netflix, the film was viewed by more than 85 million Netflix accounts (via DeadlineSpenser Confidential 2 is currently in the works, with all the major players from the original set to return.


8 6 Underground (2019)

6 Underground cast

Netflix’s most expensive movie at the time, before the release of Red notification in 2021, 6 Underground marked director Michael Bay’s first venture into the world of streaming platforms.

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With a diverse star-studded cast including Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Dave Franco, what’s most disappointing to some fans is 6 Underground is that it contains none of the over-the-top elements that make Bay’s better movies a guilty pleasure. The film failed to impress critics, but was a huge hit for Netflix, cementing its position as the seventh most-watched Netflix film based on total hours watched. Despite this success a planned 6 Underground sequel has been cancelled.

7 The Kissing Booth 2 (2020)

This sequel to the 2018 romantic teen comedy was largely panned upon its release in 2020, but still gained enough audience numbers to warrant a threequel and a place on this list.

A film based on the popular teen book of the same name by author Beth Reekles, The pillow box 2 was a huge hit for Netflix, with nearly 210 million hours of viewing in its first 28 days. While critics may not have been impressed by Elle and Noah’s long-distance desire, fans of the series have poured hundreds of millions of hours into their love story.

6 The Irishman (2019)

The Irish Movie Poster

The big-budget, Martin Scorsese-nominated crime drama, starring actors such as heavyweights Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino, was a mammoth undertaking for Netflix. Languishing in development hell for years due to its hulking budget, Netflix finally agreed to fund the project in 2017.

Netflix’s gamble has paid off enormously for the fledgling production house, with the Irishman earned 10 Academy Award nominations in 2020. The film was a huge hit on Netflix and became one of their most popular original films of all time.

5 The Unforgivable (2021)

Sandra Bullock in The Unforgivable

Returning to the big screen for her first feature film appearance since 2018 birdhousethe unforgivable marked the second collaboration between Sandra Bullock and Netflix. Based on the ITV miniseries do not forgivethe film faithfully follows the plot of that series, telling the story of a woman who returns to society after a long stint in prison, and society’s refusal to forgive her for her past actions.

With nearly 215 million hours viewed in its first 28 days of release, the unforgivable once again proves Sandra Bullock’s star power and the audience appeal of her presence.

4 Extraction (2020)

Chris Hemsworth does a suave stunt in Extraction 2 Set video

Against the background of international arms and drug trafficking, extraction marked Joe and Anthony Russo’s first foray into a new action franchise, following the completion of numerous Marvel films, culminating in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame† Starring Chris Hemsworth in the lead role, extraction was praised for its action sequences and stunt work, but criticized for its aimless plot.

extraction was Netlfix’s most-watched movie (based on how many different accounts streamed it, not total hours streamed) when it was released in 2020, as revealed by co-CEO Ted Sarandos (via Fortune

3 Birdhouse (2018)

Based on author Josh Malerman’s novel of the same name, Susanne Bier’s post-apocalyptic horror starring Sandra Bullock became Netflix’s most-watched original film when it was released in 2018.

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birdhouse held the top spot as Netflix’s most-watched film from 2018 to 2021, when it was dethroned by the now number one film, highlighting the horror hit’s tremendous staying power. What’s even more impressive for birdhouse is the relatively lower number of Netflix subscribers in 2018 compared to today, which means that its length of time as Netflix’s most watched movie is even more remarkable.

2 Don’t Look Up (2021)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeniffer Lawrence and Timothy Chalamet in Don't Look Up

Adam McKay’s Best Picture nominated black comedy satire, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, along with a host of other notable stars, became a culturally significant film upon release in late 2021. Initially conceived as an allegory of climate change, with the meteor representing the impending natural disaster that awaits mankind, don’t look upwhen it was actually released came to represent the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many believe that the film mocked by the media directly led to its relatively poor critical score, but its success with the public cannot be underestimated. Netflix subscribers spend nearly 360 million hours watching don’t look up in the 28 days after its release.

1 Red Notice (2021)

Red Notice Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot

Netflix’s most expensive film to date has been a huge hit with their audiences since its release in 2021, with a viewing time of over 364 million hours in its first 28 days of release. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, with one of the most affordable cast lists imaginable, including a trio of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds starring, Red notification allows each of the protagonists to play themselves on the screen.

The film was not a hit with critics, many of whom felt it lacked originality and ambition, especially given its price tag and cast. However, it’s a huge success story for Netflix, which explains why two sequels are currently in development.

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