Stranger Things Season 4 Demolishes Huge Netflix Record
Is anyone surprised?
It may have been nearly three years since America has seen the kids from Hawkins, Indiana, but they still love them. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stranger Things Season 4 had the biggest opening weekend for a Netflix English language series ever. Based on the number of viewing hours it tallied over its first weekend, the first seven episodes of season 4 beat out season two of Bridgerton as the biggest series debut for the streaming service.
Netflix released its own viewing data, that revealed Stranger Things season 4 pulled in 286.79 million hours of viewing time worldwide, from its debut on Wednesday, May 25 to Friday, May 27. By comparison, the previous record holder, Bridgerton season 2, had 193 million hours of viewing time over its March 2022 opening weekend. Squid Game still remains the most-watched Netflix series of all time. The anticipation for season 4 of Stranger Things even caused Netflix viewers to go back and binge the first three seasons of the series, which racked up 84.55 viewing hours last week (May 21-27) on its own. Those numbers were good enough to put seasons one through three in the Netflix U.S. and Global Top Tens.
The stakes are much higher for the Hawkins kids in the new season. Set six months after the end of season three, Stranger Things Season 4 finds the Hawkins kids separated in different towns. When a new threat from the Upside Down reveals itself, however, the kids must reunite to face it. The series also endured some controversy upon release, after a warning was added to the beginning of the first episode of season four. After last week’s tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which nineteen children and two teachers were murdered, the warning was added to the beginning of episode one. It stated that the opening scene was filmed well over a year ago, but many may find it disturbing in light of the shooting. The opening scene, a flashback scene in the Hawkins laboratory, features several children dead, with Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven the only survivor (and possible cause) of the carnage.
The success of Stranger Things Season 4 has once again created a wave of 1980s nostalgia. It even caused an 80s song to become a #1 hit, nearly forty years after it was released. Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (Go With God),” which is featured in the new season, hit the #1 spot on iTunes after the season made its debut. It also #2 on Spotify, with over 103 million streams so far. The Stranger Things soundtrack even made the iTunes Top Ten. It never hit #1 when it was released in 1985. Netflix even changed its Twitter bio this weekend to read “Listening to Kate Bush 24/7 now.”
If you think season four was well received by fans, just wait. Volume Two, with the final two episodes of season four, premieres in July. Creators The Duffer Brothers have already announced that Stranger Things Season 4 will be the penultimate season, with season five ending the series. “Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things,” The Duffer Brothers said in a statement. “At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but – as you’ll soon see for yourselves – we are now hurtling toward our finale.” Back in February, Netflix even tweeted a tease of the series ending soon. Production has yet to begin on season five, and a release date has not been announced.