Netflix’s Ranking Records Were Just Destroyed By This Movie

By Ross Bonaime | 9 months ago

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Netflix has a bonafide hit on its hands with an unexpected success story. Enola Holmes has only been on Netflix for less than a week, but according to a new report, it seems as though it’s already breaking records.

FlixPatrol, which monitors which films are ranked #1 on Netflix in countries around the world, reports that for four days, Enola Holmes has been #1 on Netflix in all 78 countries that the site monitors, It has also reached #1 in 76 of the 78 countries on September 24 and September 29.

Netflix is notoriously cagey about their numbers and rarely release concrete details on their viewing data. However, this summer, Netflix did announce their ten most popular original films. According to Netflix, their number one original film of all-time, considering the audience in the first four weeks of the film’s debut, was the Chris Hemsworth action film, Extraction, with 99 million viewers. Trailing behind is the Sandra Bullock film, Bird Box, with 89 million viewers, and Ryan Reynolds’ Spencer Confidential, with 85 million viewers. 

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Most of Netflix’s top original movies have some major director attached, such as Michael Bay with 6 Underground or Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Or they feature major actors, like Ben Affleck in Triple Frontier or Adam Sandler in Murder Mystery. Enola Holmes is the first starring film role for Millie Bobby Brown and the directorial debut of Harry Bradbeer, even though Bradbeer previously directed most of the episodes of the critically-acclaimed Fleabag series.

But any reveal of Netflix’s numbers should be taken with a massive grain of salt. Since Netflix is extremely protective of their actual numbers, and since Netflix technically controls what films or television shows are represented on their site’s rankings, it’s unclear if Netflix is messing with their numbers for their own benefit. 

The Hollywood Reporter previously dug into how Netflix provides their viewer numbers and the process is extremely questionable. While the standard television program is usually tracked by an entirely different company, specifically the Nielsen rating system, Netflix releases its own numbers. While Netflix used to count someone who watched 70 percent of a film or television as a complete view of one of their programs, Netflix has since changed their rules, which would benefit them and boost their statistics. 

For example, Netflix now counts anyone who “chose to watch and did watch at least 2 minutes” of a title as a view. Netflix has stated that the two minutes means that it is “long enough to indicate the choice was intentional.” Netflix has stated that this newer way of counting their viewership numbers has shown a 35 perfect increase. So basically, if someone watches the opening credits of Enola Holmes and decides to stop watching, or if the first few minutes autoplay while you’re in the bathroom, Netflix will count that as a view.

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As we reported yesterday, the Doyle Estate is claiming that Enola Holmes is infringing on copyright laws, since the film’s take on Sherlock Holmes seems to be based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories that are still under copyright. The majority of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories are currently in the public domain, which explains the recent flood of Sherlock-related material such as Enola Holmes, 2015’s Mr. Holmes – which the Doyle Estate also sued over – and 2018’s Holmes & Watson.

But despite the possible legal ramifications of Enola Holmes, both Brown and Bradbeer have also stated they would like to return to the Enola Holmes universe if given the opportunity. If these numbers are accurate, it seems incredibly likely they’ll able to continue the stories of Enola Holmes.