Two Big Returning Shows “Reach(er)” For “The Crown”

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(Welcome to my weekly streaming ratings report, the single best guide to what is popular in streaming TV and what isn’t. I’m the Entertainment Strategy Guy, a former streaming executive who now analyzes business strategy in the entertainment industry. If you were forwarded this email, please subscribe to get these insights each week.)

This week we have another “double issue” of streaming ratings, covering the weeks starting 4-Dec and 11-Dec, since I’m still playing catch-up after taking the holiday break off. The theme of these weeks is straight-to-streaming films (I counted eleven of them over two weeks), including the biggest of those movies, Leave the World Behind, which is a huge hit…but is it one of the biggest of all time? Going up against those straight-to-streaming films were the two biggest theatrically-released films in 2023, Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie. How did Barbie and Mario compare?

On the TV side, the theme of the week should be foreign TV shows (there were a bunch of them, thanks to the strikes), but the two big returning—The Crown on Netflix and Reacher on Prime Video—are what I want to look at. Did Princess Diana draw in more viewers this time around? Did Jack Reacher retain his streaming bona fides?

Before that, I want to shout out anyone who cited, linked to, or quoted me or this up-and-coming newsletter. We’ve had a bunch shout outs over the last little bit:

Obviously, I love the shout outs, but I’m more excited that people in the Hollywood press are taking data, ratings and popularity seriously again. (At least some people.) At best, many reporters, writers and pundits don’t have the time to do this sort of research; at worst, I think many don’t care, especially if the data contradicts the angle of the story.

Okay, on to the streaming ratings…

(Reminder: The streaming ratings report focuses on the U.S. market and compiles data from Nielsen’s weekly top ten viewership ranks, Showlabs, TV Time trend data, Samba TV household viewership, company datecdotes, and Netflix hours viewed data, Google Trends, and IMDb to determine the most popular content. While most data points are current, Nielsen’s data covers the weeks of December 4th to December 17th.)

Film – A Titanic Battle of Streaming and Theatrical Heavyweights

The ratings charts can still surprise me. For example, I knew that Leave the World Behind—a Netflix Original film with an elite crew behind it, including director Sam Esmail of Mr. Robot fame, the Obama’s production company, and starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali and Ethan Hawke—could open big. (How did I have this feeling? Looking at IMDb scores, TV Time and some online commentary.) 

Samba TV had it breaking the two million households mark in its first four days:

But it turns out audiences kept watching it. Since we have two weeks of data to parse, we can say that Leave The World Behind’s had a HUGE first two weeks:

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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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