Sayeed Adyani/Netflix(NEW YORK) — While Netflix often doesn't reveal the numbers for its projects for various reasons, it was quick to crow about Bird Box. The Sandra Bullock thriller was said to have been watched by "45 million Netflix accounts," according to the streaming service.
That number is a little tough to translate into traditional viewership numbers, though, since, for example, people often share Netflix accounts. But Nielsen Media Research, which ranks traditional TV and cable shows — and, increasingly, streaming networks like Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix — has managed to put an actual number to Bird Box's audience.
The thriller had an "unduplicated audience of nearly 26 million viewers within its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21 to Dec. 27)," according to NMR numbers cited by Variety. But Nielsen's methodology differs from that of Netflix.
Neilsen's numbers, for example, don't take into account overseas audiences, nor do they rank shows if they're watched on phones — something millions of people do.
Long story short, the two company's numbers aren't an apples to apples comparison, but Nielsen points out some other data points. Compared to another Netflix hit — the Will Smith thriller Bright — Bird Box attracted fewer viewers on its premiere day, but its audience then grew compared to Bright.
The Bullock movie's debut day attracted 3.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, but thanks to good word of mouth, Bird Box's audience kept growing, and outpaced Bright's audience in its first week by more than eight million people.
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