‘Bridgerton’ Opens Strong But May Not Be Breaking Records and ‘The 8 Show’ Is No Squid Game – Netflix Top 10 Report

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Netflix Top 10 Report Bridgerton Season 3 The 8 Show Thelma The Unicorn

Pictured: Bridgerton, The 8 Show and Thelma the Unicorn / Netflix

Welcome along to an extended top 10 report today, where we’ll be diving deep into the new figures just released for the first half of Bridgerton season 4. It’s undoubtedly a hit, but is it breaking records? The split-season release distorts things as we dive into it. We’ll also cover The 8 Show, Thelma the Unicorn, Blood of Zeus, and Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies and Scandal.

Missed our top 10 report from last week? We covered the performance of Mother of the BrideBodkin, and Dead Boy Detectives.

Note: In this report of Netflix’s hours viewed from May 13th, 2024 to May 19th, 2024, we’ll use “Complete Viewings Equivalent,” or CVE, expressed in millions. That means we divide the hours viewed announced by Netflix by the runtime of films or series. It allows for better comparisons between films and series, but it’s not an audience metric. It is the minimum number of viewings if they were all complete from the first second to the last of the film or season.

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Table of Contents

1. Bridgerton is a hit, but…

The third season of Bridgerton arrived last week, and its numbers are very impressive. After its first four days, it tallied 45.1M CVEs. Compared to the first half of other new seasons on our dataset, that’s a record far above what season 4A of You did.

Briderton Season 3a Netflix Vs Other Split Seasons

It would be tempting to compare that launch to the ones of season 2 of Bridgerton or even Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story which would show a graph like this one:

Bridgerton Season 3a Vs Bridgerton S2 Queen Charlotte

Every US publication mentions how this is a record launch, but there’s something to keep in mind in this case.

First, I don’t think Netflix itself is mentioning that it’s a record. Second, the fact that only four episodes were released highlights one of the blindspots of the CVE metric, or “views,” as Netflix calls it.

Let me explain: when a season is binge-released on streaming, it is fair to assume that people start with episode 1 and then go on to episode 2. In a timeframe such as 3 or 5 days, like the opening week of any series, two things can happen: people will binge it in a few days, or people will take their time and watch a couple of episodes during that timeframe or even quit the series before the end. So the first episode will always be the one with the most watch time (or “views”), while the last one in the season will be the one with the least watch time (or “views”).

When season 2 of Bridgerton was released, it did 22.7M CVEs over its first three days for a full season of 8 episodes. For argument’s sake, let’s assign a number to the views of each episode with a linear decay rate from episode to episode. So let’s say that on the first three days of availability, episode 1 of season 2 of Bridgerton had 33M CVEs, while the last only had 12M CVEs. Overall, the number of CVEs for the season is approximately 22.7M CVEs.

Now, with the same numbers but only for the first four episodes, the CVE number rises to 28.5M CVEs.

Briderton Episode Watch Time

The longer a season is, the more at a disadvantage it gets for the opening week.

Discrepancies even out after 28 or 91 days, but, generally speaking, for the first few days, shorter seasons are more bingeable than long ones. What is striking is that Season 2 of Bridgerton did in 3 days half the “views” of what Season 3 of Bridgerton did in 4 days, with a season twice as long. So, the optics might show a huge success for season 3 compared to season 2, but we will have to wait a bit longer to see if that’s the case, and we will have to wait for the second half of the season.

If we only looked at hours viewed (a metric with its own set of huge limitations), the launch of season 3A is not that huge.

Hours Viewed For Bridgerton Comparisons

Now, if we try and compare what can be compared, there’s no doubt that season 3 of Bridgerton did what few half-seasons have done so far: a very successful launch compared to the previous season.

Look at that chart:

Performance Of First Half Vs Full Seasons Netflix

You S4A was the only batch-released season to get more than half over four days of what the previous season did in 14 days. S3A of Bridgerton is already way past that mark and on its way to the all-time Top 10, even before Season 3B is released.

That would be interesting for one very specific reason: we might see something we’ve never had before: a series ascending to the all-time Top 10, then dropping from it, and then climbing in it again. Since the all-time Top 10 is based on “views”, whatever number of views season 3A will get until the release of season 3B will automatically be cut in half when season 3B is released because the runtime used to calculate the “views” will double with the four new episodes. Let’s say Season 3A manages to reach 85M CVEs in the next two weeks. It will automatically get reduced to 42.5M CVEs, give or take, when season 3B is released, and from there, all the viewing from the whole season will rise again, presumably up to a point that will lead it to the all-time Top 10.

The only time we will know for sure if Season 3 of Bridgerton improved the viewership of seasons 1 and 2 will be around mid-September, 91 days after the release of the second part of Season 3. That’s when we will get a definite number of views for the whole season. Before that, and especially so close to the first part’s release, it is only guesswork.

2. Thelma the Unicorn has a soft launch.

Animated films from Netflix are usually hit-or-miss, and Thelma the Unicorn is more on the “miss” side. After three days, it launched with only 7.3M CVEs, far from the heavy hitters from Netflix animation studios such as The Sea Beast.

Thelma The Unicorn Vs Other Netflix Animated Movies

3. Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies and Scandal does a very average launch.

Do you know the average launch for a Netflix true crime docuseries released on a Wednesday? It’s 9.6M CVEs.

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies, and Scandal did 9.5M, which is right around that average. Not great, not bad. Average!

Ashley Madison Documentary Viewership Netflix

4. Blood of Zeus needs to find new blood.

The animated series Blood of Zeus might already be renewed for a third season. The launch numbers for season 2 are quite low, with only 1.8M CVEs after its first five days. But it did manage to get into the Top 10 this week, something season 3 of Princess Power did not do.

Blood Of Zeus Season 2 Viewing Stats

5. The 8 Show is not the new Squid Game.

Netflix pushed hard to make the South Korean series The 8 Show the new Squid Game, with its story around deadly games and contestants. However, with only 1.7M CVEs over its first three days, that’s only the fourth-best launch of a new South Korean Netflix series this year.

The 8 Show Debut Viewership Netflix

Full Top 40 Movies and Series in the Netflix Top 10s

English TV

Rank Title Hours Views
1 Bridgerton: Season 3 165,200,000 45,100,000
2 Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal: Season 1 24,600,000 9,500,000
3 Baby Reindeer: Limited Series 29,500,000 7,400,000
4 Bridgerton: Season 1 37,300,000 4,500,000
5 Kevin Hart: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor 5,400,000 4,100,000
6 Bodkin: Season 1 23,300,000 4,000,000
7 The Roast of Tom Brady 10,500,000 3,400,000
8 Bridgerton: Season 2 27,700,000 3,300,000
9 A Man in Full: Limited Series 10,900,000 2,400,000
10 Blood of Zeus: Season 2 7,400,000 1,800,000

English Film

Rank Title Hours Views
1 Mother of the Bride 38,100,000 25,400,000
2 Madame Web 20,800,000 10,800,000
3 Disturbia 13,500,000 7,700,000
4 Thelma the Unicorn 12,000,000 7,300,000
5 Shrek 7,700,000 5,100,000
6 Upgrade 4,900,000 2,900,000
7 Sonic the Hedgehog 4,600,000 2,700,000
8 The Boss Baby 4,100,000 2,500,000
9 Unfrosted 4,000,000 2,500,000
10 Smile 4,700,000 2,400,000

Non-English TV

Rank Title Hours Views
1 Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Hashira Training Arc 4,400,000 5,400,000
2 Thank You, Next: Season 1 29,900,000 5,100,000
3 Cooking Up Murder: Uncovering the Story of César Román: Limited Series 7,100,000 2,900,000
4 The Asunta Case: Limited Series 15,300,000 2,800,000
5 Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar: Season 1 17,300,000 2,400,000
6 Queen of Tears: Limited Series 43,100,000 1,800,000
7 The 8 Show: Limited Series 11,900,000 1,700,000
8 The Atypical Family: Limited Series 9,800,000 1,500,000
9 Kaiju No. 8: Season 1 1,900,000 800,000
10 Dr. Stone: Season 2 3,200,000 700,000

Non-English Film

Rank Title Hours Views
1 The Courier 19,100,000 11,200,000
2 Partiu América 5,800,000 3,400,000
3 Monster 4,700,000 3,300,000
4 Shaitaan 6,800,000 3,200,000
5 Laapataa Ladies 5,300,000 2,600,000
6 Honeymoonish 3,300,000 2,000,000
7 The Guardian of the Monarchs 3,000,000 2,000,000
8 Adagio 3,600,000 1,700,000
9 Tad, The Lost Explorer and the Emerald Tablet 2,200,000 1,500,000
10 The Tearsmith 2,300,000 1,300,000

That’s all for this week. Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

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