Netflix: Sweden’s ‘The Abyss’ Tops ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Series Debut on Weekly Chart

Sweden’s natural disaster thriller The Abyss maintained the No. 1 overall spot on Netflix’s weekly chart, generating 22.3 million views, to hold off the series debut of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” with 21.2 million views after four days on the TV chart, for the week ended Feb. 25. 

In the lead-up to the release of the live-action reimagining of the animated series, fans were treated to sneak-peek scenes and a takeover of the Sphere in Las Vegas.

Tyler Perry’s Mea Culpa, the debut thriller starring Kelly Rowland, topped the English-language movie chart, with 16 million views (No. 3 overall).

The Japanese thriller House of Ninjas muscled into the lead spot on the non-English language TV chart with 4.5 million views.

“One Day,” the limited series adapted from David Nicholls’ romance novel, finished No. 2 (7.5 million views) on the English-language TV chart. Season six of the reality dating show “Love Is Blind” (7.5 million views) followed at No. 3.

The romantic comedy Players, starring Gina Rodriguez and Damon Wayans Jr., added 7.4 million views to land at No. 2 on the English-language movie chart. 

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Spain’s two-time Oscar nominee Society of the Snow, from director J.A. Bayona, spent its eighth week on the non-English language movie chart with 2.1 million views. Finally, season three of the Brazilian thriller “Good Morning, Veronica” finished at No. 5 in its second week on the non-English language TV chart (2 million views), and season one returned to the chart in 10th place with 1.1 million views.  

Netflix Adds Two New Mobile Video Games, Upping Catalog to More Than 90 Titles

Netflix Feb. 26 announced the availability of two new mobile video games, upping its catalog of mobile-only games to more than 90 titles since entering the market in 2021.

The new games include game publisher Ubisoft’s Rainbow: SMOL, based on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six franchise, and Zen Studio’s arcade game Pinball Masters available to all Netflix subscribers on Android and iOS devices without ads or in-app purchases.

In Rainbow, players are “recruits” with a mission is to kick doors down, deal with cultists and liberate the world of Smol from the mysterious threat that looms over it.

Pinball Masters enables users to flip their way through themed arcade tables featuring characters such as Godzilla and Kong. Players try to climb the leaderboards or beat their own highest scores in single player mode.

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Despite a reported 1.7 million daily users of its mobile games, more than 99% of Netflix’s 260 million global subs do not play games. The streamer is attempting to alter the percentages by expanding game access to the television — where the majority of Netflix’s gaming competition exists.

Last April, Netflix announced the first beta tests of cloud-based games to U.K. and Canada subscribers available on TVs and PC computers.

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Griselda’ Topped Weekly Household TV Streaming Through Jan. 28

The Netflix original series “Griselda” generated more than 1.6 billion viewing minutes in just four days of availability to become the most-streamed content across U.S. household televisions for the week ended Jan. 28, according to new data from Nielsen.

The show about the late cartel boss Griselda Blanco, featuring Sofía Vergara in the title role, generated an audience that had the highest concentration of Hispanic viewers during the week at 46%.

Following the historic run of former USA Networks’ legal drama “Suits” over 15 total weeks on Netflix and Peacock as the most-streamed content on domestic TVs in 2023, “Griselda” is only the fifth other title to see the top overall spot since the week of Oct. 9-15, 2023, when Netflix’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” blocked “Suits” from adding a 16th week atop the overall streaming chart.

No. 2 overall title “Bluey” led the pack of acquired content and notched another big week with 1.25 billion minutes viewed on Disney+, followed by “Grey’s Anatomy” (999 million minutes), “Young Sheldon” (984 million) and “This Is Us” (776 million). Young Sheldon’s older self in “The Big Bang Theory” also made an appearance on the overall chart at No. 8 with 690 million minutes viewed on Max.

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At No. 7 overall, The Hill was the only movie to hit the overall chart during the week, totaling 736 million viewing minutes on Netflix in its first full week of availability on the service.

Finally, “Loudermilk,” which migrated to Netflix (from Prime Video) at the beginning of January, took the 10th spot on the acquired content chart with 593 million viewing minutes. It first made the top 10 charts during the week of Jan. 14, when it was No. 8 overall with 846 million minutes, but has slowly decreased its viewing totals since.

Netflix: The Place Old TV Shows Rise From the Grave

NEWS ANALYSIS — “Loudermilk,” the 2017 Canadian comedy-drama series that lasted three seasons, languished in relative obscurity on Prime Video until Netflix licensed the Ron Livingston-starrer in 2024. The series is now a top 10 show across multiple ratings platforms, according to Reelgood.com.

“No one seems to be talking about the fact that the show languished in the bottom 1,000 shows before it hit Netflix,” Catharine Burhenne with Reelgood, said in a statement.

The TV show’s rebirth on Netflix marks just the latest series rerun that has struck gold on the world’s largest subscription streaming VOD platform.

Netflix (and Peacock) hit gold last year licensing seasons of cancelled USA Networks legal drama “Suits,” with the show, co-starring Meghan Markle before she quit acting to marry Prince Harry, dominating weekly household TV streaming last summer, according to Nielsen.

In total, the show, which originally aired on network television from 2011 to 2019, racked up 57.7 billion viewing minutes — enough to take the crown away from previous licensed content chart topper “The Office,” which generated 57.1 billion viewing minutes in 2020 amid pandemic-induced lockdowns.

Reruns of “NCIS” on Netflix and Paramount+ also established an entirely new life outside of linear TV, landing in the third spot on Nielsen’s weekly top 10 acquired content chart. The show gained 1.3 million viewing minutes through 2023 with 39.4 billion minutes streamed.

Other reruns scoring big in 2023 with Netflix included “Grey’s Anatomy” with 38.6 billion minutes and “Gilmore Girls” and “Supernatural,” generating 25.2 billion and 22.8 billion minutes, respectively.

The trend continues in 2024 with 133 episodes of “Young Sheldon” generating 1.15 billion minutes consumed on Netflix and Max, followed by 111 catalog episodes of “This Is Us” ranking in Nielsen Top 10 licensed shows with 929 million minutes consumed through Jan. 21.

The renaissance with streamers saw seven titles exceed the billion-minute threshold through Jan. 21, a first for Nielsen’s top 10 weekly streaming reports. The previous record for number of titles (including catalog) with more than 1 billion minutes in a week was six, which has only occurred four times — most recently during the week of Jan. 7.

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Netflix Announces Female-Driven Limited Series ‘Sirens’

Netflix has announced the new female-driven limited series “Sirens” from Emmy-nominated writer/showunner Molly Smith Metzler (“Maid,” “Shameless,” “Orange Is the New Black”).

In the series, Devon thinks her sister Simone has a really creepy relationship with her new boss, the enigmatic socialite Michaela Kell. Michaela’s cult-ish life of luxury is like a drug to Simone, and Devon has decided it’s time for an intervention. When Devon tracks her sister down to say WTF, she has no idea what a formidable opponent Michaela will be. Told over the course of one explosive weekend at The Kells’ lavish beach estate, “Sirens” is a darkly funny exploration of women, power, and class.

Executive Producers include Metzler, Dani Gorin, Tom Ackerley and Margot Robbie for LuckyChap Entertainment. 

“Sirens” is the first series out of Metzler’s creative partnership with Netflix and is based on her play Elemeno Pea, which she wrote at The Juilliard School.  

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Metzler’s and LuckyChap’s previous series at Netflix, “Maid,” starring Margaret Qualley, spent 14 weeks in Netflix’s Global Top 10 TV and reached the Top 10 TV in 93 countries. The Emmy, Golden Globe and Critics Choice-nominated series won the Writers Guild Award for Limited Series Writing/Adapted Long Form and an AFI Award.

Tan France and Elaine Welteroth to Co-Host Netflix’s Live-Stream of SAG Awards Red Carpet on Feb. 24

The 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Feb. 21 announced that Tan France (“Queer Eye”) and TV host Elaine Welteroth will co-host the pre-show streaming live on Netflix, YouTube, and TikTok at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST on Feb 24.

The precursor industry awards event to the Academy Awards has not had an official host since 2021. Instead, this year’s so-called show “ambassadors” include Phil Dunster (“Ted Lasso”) and Taylor Zakhar Perez (“The Kissing Booth”).

The pre-show will feature France and Welteroth interviewing nominees, highlighting the best fashion looks of the night and giving viewers a look at the red carpet for the SAG Awards. During the pre-show, winners for Stunt Ensemble performances in motion pictures and television series will also be revealed. The complete list of nominated stunt performers and coordinators is available on sagawards.org.

The 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which is produced by Silent House Productions in partnership with SAG-AFTRA, will stream live globally on Netflix Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST from the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

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Netflix: New Movie ‘Players’ Tops Weekly Streaming Through Feb. 18

The new relationship comedy Players, starring Gina Rodriguez and Damon Wayans Jr., was the most-streamed weekly content on Netflix with 16.3 million views for the week ended Feb. 18. 

The limited series “One Day,” starring Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall and adapted from David Nicholls’ romance novel, rose to No. 1 with 9.9 million views on the English-language TV chart.

The Swedish natural disaster thriller The Abyss topped all non-English language movies in its debut with 6.9 million views.

And the South Korean crime thriller “A Killer Paradox” rose to the top spot on the non-English language TV chart with 5.5 million views.

Meanwhile, season six of dating show “Love Is Blind” debuted at No. 2 on the English-language TV chart with 6.3 million views. Several returning series showed staying power for the week, including “Griselda,” the limited series starring and executive produced by Sofía Vergara, at No. 3 (5.8 million views); Harlan Coben’s crime thriller “Fool Me Once” at No. 5 (2.3 million views); and the docuseries “American Nightmare” at No. 7 (2.2 million views).

Taylor Tomlinson’s new stand-up comedy special Have It All entered the chart at No. 6 with 2.3 million views. 

Elsewhere, director Sam Esmail’s dystopian thriller Leave the World Behind climbed to No. 5 on the Most Popular Films Chart, clocking 140 million views in its first 73 days on Netflix.

True crime documentary Lover, Stalker, Killer, claimed second place with 14.4 million views, and the docu-drama Einstein and the Bomb, which uses Einstein’s own words only, combining sequences with archive footage of his life as it unfolds across both world wars, and the advent of the atomic age, debuted in fourth place with 8.5 million views.

DreamWorks Animation’s Orion and the Dark, the animated family film directed by Sean Charmatz, took sixth place in its third week on the chart with 7 million views.

Turkish romantic thriller Ashes came in No. 2 with 6.4 million views on the non-English language movie chart, ahead of new Polish comedy Kill Me If You Dare at No. 3  with 5.8 million views, and Indian thriller Bhakshak in fourth place with 5.1 million views. Spain’s two-time Oscar nominee and 12-time Goya Award winner Society of the Snow spent its seventh week on the chart at No. 6 with 3.1 million views.

New non-English language TV chart titles included Japanese thriller “The House of Ninjas” at No. 2 with 4.2 million views; Season 3 of Brazilian thriller, “Good Morning, Veronica,” finished No. 3 (3.5 million views); Season 2 of Jordanian teen drama, “AlRawabi School for Girls,” finished No. 5 with 1.9 million views, and Portuguese adventure, “Luz: The Light of the Heart,” finished No. 8 with 1.4 million views.

Bango: Ad-Supported SVOD Drives 36% Surge in Ad-Free Subs

With Prime Video joining Netflix, Disney+, Max, Paramount+ and Peacock offering lower-cost ad-supported SVOD options, new data from Bango shows that ad-supported subscription tiers are driving gains for more expensive ad-free options.

The launch of ad-funded tiers has driven more than a third of U.S. SVOD subscribers (36%) to upgrade their plans to ad-free.

With 31% of subscribers saying they’ve canceled at least one streaming service because ads were introduced, another 78% say that paid-for SVOD plans should never display ads. The data is based on an online survey of 5,000 SVOD subscribers in the United States.

According to the Bango, acceptance of ad-supported SVOD varies across different subscription types. While 35% of video streamers have paid for an upgrade to avoid watching ads, this percentage rises to 48% among music subscribers. For those streaming sports content, the percentage increases to 71% opting to upgrade when ads are introduced into their services.

Separately, the report found that 35% of survey respondents who had previously freeloaded off an existing user’s account are now paying for streaming service.

While Netflix, Disney+ and others services have cracked down on shared passwords, more than a third of respondents (35%) still regularly jump between streaming platforms, pausing and restarting their subscriptions to access the content they want. 

Meanwhile, with last year’s launch of the Verizon +play, the all-in-one subscription streaming video trend dubbed “Super Bundling,” has found competing services such as Netflix, Starz, Max, and Paramount+, among others, linking together similar to the Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ bundle. According to the data, this represents a welcome trend for subscribers, with 73% saying they want one platform to manage all of their subscriptions in one place. Another 69% would also like the ability to pay for multiple subscriptions via one monthly bill.

At the same time, SVOD subs are wary of a return to a cable TV business model, with less than 30% respondents wanting their cable company to manage their subscriptions. Instead, half of subscribers (50%) say they want their cell phone provider to launch a content hub. The majority of these (61%) would even pay a higher cell phone bill to receive this service, with the average subscriber willing to pay an additional $364 per year (+19% of their annual bill).

Paul Larbey, CEO of Bango, contends consumer attitudes towards SVOD are changing, welcoming the flexibility ad-supported tiers bring to the table.

“People want choice,” Larbey said in a statement. “Those who are happy to watch ads accept them, those who aren’t pay a little extra. The important thing is that they have the freedom to choose.”

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Netflix Announces Second Season of Spanish-Language ‘Money Heist’ Prequel ‘Berlin’

Netflix Feb. 19 announced that the Spanish-language “Money Heist” prequel “Berlin” is returning to Netflix for a second season. The show about a gang of master thieves in Paris, stars Michelle Jenner (“Isabel”), who plays Keila, an expert in electronic engineering; Tristán Ulloa (“Fariña”), who plays Damián, a philanthropic professor and Berlin’s confidant; Begoña Vargas (“Welcome to Eden”), who plays Cameron, a kamikaze who always lives on the edge; Julio Peña Fernández (“Through My Window”), who plays Roi, Berlin’s faithful squire; and Joel Sánchez, who plays Bruce, the relentless man of action in the gang. 

During its premiere week in 2023, “Berlin” was the most-watched series globally and reached Netflix’s top 10 in 91 countries. Since then, it has remained in the top 10 for seven consecutive weeks on the streamer’s non-English language TV chart, amassing 348 million hours viewed and 53 million total views. The series is now ranked No. 9 among the most-watched non-English language series on Netflix.

Second season filming is set to begin in 2025 by Vancouver Media.

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Survey: 33% Had to Create New Account After Streaming Password Crackdown

Multiple streaming services, such as Netflix and Disney+, have enforced password sharing over the last year — and it’s working. A Forbes Advisor survey found that 33% of Americans report having to create their own streaming account after password crackdowns. 

However, the report found that 56% still access streaming services through friends and family accounts and 90% claim they will discontinue streaming services if higher prices or stricter password sharing are enforced in 2024. 

Other findings:

  • Streaming content is a part-time job — Americans spend an average of 20 hours streaming content every week.
  • People are spending an average of $552 on streaming services a year or $46 a month. 
  • 44% report having their streaming subscriptions costs increase over the last year.
  • People are most likely to cancel Disney+ (44%) if its prices increased or they enforced stricter password sharing rules — 33% would cancel Netflix if prices increased or account sharing was enforced.
  • The number of people paying for streaming services has increased over the last year — 96% pay for at least one streaming subscription in 2024 while only 86% paid for streaming services in 2023. 

 

The online survey of 2,000 Americans who stream media at least one hour or more per day was commissioned by Forbes Home and conducted by market research company OnePoll.