New Netflix film 'Bird Box' smashes streaming record

The fright flick has spawned the internet sensation known as the #BirdBoxChallenge with some people poking fun at the film


A Netflix spokesperson shared with The Verge, that an account is considered a viewer "once a view surpasses 70 percent of total running time including credits". A good guess: the significant majority of Bird Box viewers are streaming from outside of the United States. YouTube counts a view as anything watched for 30 seconds or more, while Facebook's "view" kicks in at a mere three seconds.

In some cases, but certainly not all, a question about the film's merit seems to underlie the skepticism: Why was Bird Box, which received lukewarm reviews, the Netflix film to break such a record?

Netflix's original horror flick Bird Box is having something of a moment, if you haven't noticed.

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It would be hard, for example, to say what the activity of 45 million accounts equates to in traditional box office terms. Simply put: streaming a movie into the comforts of your living room is a heck of a lot easier than trekking to the local cineplex and slapping $10 on the counter. Plenty of folks share Netflix accounts, so some of those Bird Box viewings may be by more than one person at once. As CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl somewhat skeptically tweeted, the numbers were "independently verified by. uh, Netflix".

"I posit most people were unaware of "Bird Box" until they saw it on their Netflix account, or heard about it from friends", Lefsetz wrote in his blog.

Tensions between Hollywood (both TV and film) and Netflix have only increased since the streaming giant became a major player following the "House of Cards" release. Netflix planned to launch 80 original films in 2018 heading into the year, after releasing just eight films the year before.

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"I don't believe that films that are given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for Academy Award nominations", Spielberg told ITV News. "But not an Oscar".

Please go watch Practical Magic.

Directors Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino have expressed similar opinions.

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