Who Won: Glass Onion, Strange World or Top Gun: Maverick?

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I try to keep track of everything that comes out each week, and man, some days still surprise me. Like the Friday after Christmas. Check this out:

What do Netflix and Discovery+ know (or not know) that everyone else doesn’t? (Note: They Cloned Tyrone was delayed until 2023.)

This was one of the lightest weeks I covered in a while. It may be “sweeps” week, but that means the streamers take one or two big shots, then wait until January to release everything else. (Actually, January looks a pinch light too.)

This week we’re diving deep into the big three films from the week before, Glass Onion, Strange World and Top Gun: Maverick. That plus more on The Witcher: Blood Origin, the last week of the NFL on streaming, Disney+ specials, JustWatch’s top shows of 2022 and more.

(Reminder: The streaming ratings report focuses on the U.S. market and compiles data from Nielsen’s weekly top ten viewership ranks, TV Time trend data, company datecdotes, and Netflix hours viewed data, Netflix Top Ten lists, Google Trends, Samba TV, and IMDb to determine the most popular content. While most data points are current, Nielsen’s data covers the weeks of December 26th to January 1st.)

Film – Which Film Won “Christmas Sweeps Week”?

Here’s a fun lesson to kick things off: beware of (data) first impressions.

I’ve mentioned this before, a “data first impression” can often be a lasting one. Just like with dating or news stories. If a news story is wrong, many fewer people read the correction than read the update later. As humans, we put a lot of stock into those first few moments. 

Yes, this applies to data. The first results people hear—think “this film had a great Thursday opening” or “this linear show had a strong debut”—often lodges in their head. And even if the longer term performance slips later, or a show starts soft then gains steam, you can’t convince people that initial data take was wrong.

(Here’s a concrete change you can make in your organization: avoid looking at ratings, viewership or even box office data until the end of the first weekend. Ideally, even longer. And ensure your research team has time to double check the data before it goes out. Yes, you’re hungry for email updates. Avoid the temptation! You’ll make better decisions this way.)

I went through this with Knives Out 2, er Glass Onion: A Benoit Blanc Mystery [sic] (This should be the actual title) with Netflix. When it debuted on the global charts, Netflix said it did…fine. Considering it had the “Christmas weekend boost”, it shouldn’t have trailed some of other recent Netflix films (in terms of total hours viewed, globally) like The Gray Man, The Adam Project and Don’t Look Up. So boom, my first impression was that it underperformed (globally).

But then TV Time said it debuted at number one on their charts….

Meanwhile, its IMDb rating is average (7.2), but the total is through the roof (over 308K as of this writing). Of course, after Netflix released their batch of global data for the week of 26-December, I saw that Glass Onion was clearly a global hit too. (Right now it’s fourth place on Netflix’s all time rankings charts.) Samba TV said four million households watched in the first five days. You can see below that’s a good number:

So would Nielsen show a slow start in America or would Glass Onion come fast out gate? The latter. In a big way.

Glass Onion had the third biggest debut of a feature film, and its second full week was the best week we’ve ever seen for a film. As far as individual weeks go, it’s the twentieth highest week for any title (film or show) since 2021. (I use 2021 as the cut off since it’s post-Covid-19 and when Nielsen expanded the list to 30 titles.) It’s debut is now officially the second biggest of 2022:


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The Entertainment Strategy Guy

The Entertainment Strategy Guy

Former strategy and business development guy at a major streaming company. But I like writing more than sending email, so I launched this website to share what I know.


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