The Irishman drew an average minute audience of nearly 2.6 million viewers on its November 27 premiere on Netflix, holding steady through the long Thanksgiving weekend, according to new figures from Nielsen.
The company only tracks U.S. consumption, so the snapshot is just part of the picture. Netflix execs have been coy so far about numbers as the film has rolled through its limited theatrical run and moved onto the streaming platform. The film has racked up acclaim and early awards momentum, earning top honors this week from the New York Film Critics. In an appearance at a conference Thursday hosted by Variety, Deadline's sister publication, Netflix film boss Scott Stuber was asked about the numbers but would say only that the company “is on [our] way to being happy with the movie.”
Nielsen said Martin Scorsese's film gathered a total average minute audience of 13.2 million viewers in its first 5 days of streaming availability. It opened theatrically on November 1 after having its world premiere in late September at the New York Film Festival, but has been shunned by major theater circuits like AMC, Regal and Cinemark after Netflix declined to abide by traditional windows.
The streaming viewership peak came on its third day, when it reached 3.1 million viewers, and the Saturday November 30 was also hehy, with 2.8 million.
One consideration with The Irishman is its hefty running time of 210 minutes, which has prompted endless social media chatter about whether it can be broken down and enjoyed in smaller parts. According to the Nielsen numbers, a large number of Netflix viewers watched the entire film in one sitting. On the Wednesday premiere day, 751,000 viewers saw it in its entirety, which was about 18% of the total population sampling it. On Friday, November 29, about 930,000 took it all in at once. The 18% level puts the film on par with Bird Box a year ago and far surpasses the full-film level of El Camino earlier this year, which managed just 11%. Bird Box and El Camino are each about two hours long.