Netflix expects 40 million households to watch The Irishman in its first month, making the Oscar contender one of the streaming service's most popular movies.
The gangster epic directed by Martin Scorsese was seen in 26.4 million homes in its first week, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said Tuesday at an investment conference. The film, which debuted online November 27 after a run in theatres, stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
Netflix is selective about the viewing data it releases, often leaving Wall Street and Hollywood guessing about whether its shows and movies are successful. Nielsen previously indicated that The Irishman was seen by 13.2 million US viewers in its first five days of release. That put it above El Camino, this year's cinematic follow-up to the TV show Breaking Bad, but below Bird Box, Sandra Bullock's supernatural thriller from 2018.
Sarandos seemed to be determined to show Netflix was being as transparent as possible with the Irishman numbers. At the conference, hosted by UBS Group AG, he gave the viewing figure in full with no rounding: 26,404,081. That's about a sixth of all Netflix subscribers.
Still, even at 40 million for the month, that's well below the 80 million that Bird Box attracted. Given the film's 3 1/2-hour running time, there were questions about whether most viewers could make it to the end. Netflix said it only counted households in its tally who watched at least 70% of the movie.