Here Are Netflix’s Most Popular Original Series and Films

Adam Sandler, Ava DuVernay, Bird Box, Dead to Me, Elite, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Jennifer Aniston, Our Planet, Sex Education, Stranger Things, Television, The Highwaymen, The Perfect Date, The Umbrella Academy, Triple Frontier, When They See Us, You

Netflix might keep its viewership data under lock and key most of the time, but occasionally the streaming service likes to lift the veil and let us all know how many people are tuning in to see its original series and films, particularly when those numbers are impressive.

There has been legitimate debate about how seriously to take Netflix's figures, since we have to just take their word for it most of the time and the company considers any account that streams 70 percent of a single episode to be a view for its in-house ratings process. But if you're still curious about which shows and films have drawn the most streams according to Netflix, here's a rundown of all the originals the company has claimed to be mega-successful with its subscribers.

Aaron Paul, <em>El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie</em>Aaron Paul, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

Breaking Bad might've topped out at around 6 million viewers at its most popular point, but there were a lot more people revving their engines to see its theatrical-length epilogue, El Camino. The film, which finally gave some closure to the story of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after the events of Breaking Bad, notched more than 25 million views in its first week of release, according to Netflix.

Winona Ryder, <em>Stranger Things 3</em>Winona Ryder, Stranger Things 3

Less than a week after its Fourth of July debut, Netflix revealed that the third season of Stranger Things had already claimed a viewership record with the streaming service, with 40.7 million households watching, according to its in-house calculations. Perhaps more impressive than that, Netflix also claimed that 18.2 million subscribers had already gotten through all eight episodes of the new season in its first four days alone. Over time, Stranger Things 3‘s audience count continued to expand, and it raked in a whopping 64 million views by October, making it the most-watched season of a Netflix original so far.

Merritt Wever, Toni Collette; UnbelievableMerritt Wever, Toni Collette; Unbelievable

Netflix's limited series, inspired by the true story of a victim of a serial rapist who was overlooked by the police until two intrepid detectives started noticing a pattern between reports, was a massive success. Not only did it get the tacit endorsement of Elizabeth Warren, but it notched 32 million household views in its first month.

Yael Stone, Kate Mulgrew and Natasha Lyonne, <em>Orange Is the New Black</em>Yael Stone, Kate Mulgrew and Natasha Lyonne, Orange Is the New Black

To celebrate the release of the show's seventh and final season, Netflix revealed that 105 million households tuned in for at least one episode of Orange Is the New Black over the course of its run, making it the service's most-watched original of all time, according to their metrics.

Linda Cardellini, Christina Applegate; Dead to MeLinda Cardellini, Christina Applegate; Dead to Me

Following the (pleasantly) surprising Emmy nomination of lead actress Christina Applegate, Netflix revealed that this snappy dramedy series earned 30 million views within its first month on the streaming service. The series had already been renewed for a second season at the time of that reveal.

Laura Marano and Noah Centineo, <em>The Perfect Date</em>Laura Marano and Noah Centineo, The Perfect Date

Noah Centineo‘s second rom-com for Netflix after To All the Boys I've Loved Before might have suffered from a few creative hiccups, but that didn't stop people from tuning in to see the internet's boyfriend in action. Netflix revealed in July that the pic earned 48 million views in four weeks.

<em>Always Be My Maybe</em>Always Be My Maybe

Ali Wong and Randall Park‘s much-memed romantic comedy was another movie hit for Netflix. The streaming service revealed that the quippy pic brought in 32 million views. It obviously didn't hurt that Keanu Reeves has been having a moment lately, but it was Wong and Randall's creative chemistry that made this movie work.

Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, and Millie Bobby Brown, <em>Stranger Things 3</em>Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, and Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things 3

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Caleel Harris, When They See UsCaleel Harris, When They See Us

Ava Duvernay‘s four-part biopic about the Central Park Five was also a massive success, according to Netflix's numbers. Duvernay revealed that more than 23 million accounts had streamed her miniseries about one of America's most notorious criminal injustices.

Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler; Murder MysteryJennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler; Murder Mystery

The latest addition to Adam Sandler‘s growing film library at Netflix would have absolutely crushed it at the box office, if the same amount of people who streamed it were willing to pay money to see it in the theater. Netflix revealed that the film, which featured Sandler sharing the screen again with Jennifer Aniston, enjoyed the biggest opening weekend audience ever on the streaming service, with 30.8 million accounts — 13.3 million of which came from North America — tuning in to see the duo's European misadventures. In July, the streaming service revealed that 73 million views were counted within its first four weeks, making it the most successful installment yet in Netflix's partnership with Sandler.

<em>The Umbrella Academy</em>The Umbrella Academy

Netflix's series adaptation of the Gerard Way comics racked up a whopping 45 million in the first four weeks, according to an April quarterly call from Netflix's executives. The series had already been renewed for a second season when the streaming service shared those staggering figures.

Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam, and Ben Affleck, <em>Triple Frontier</em>Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam, and Ben Affleck, Triple Frontier

This action film boasted a lot of A-listers on its roster — including Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, Garret Hedlund, and Oscar Isaac — and cost so much money to produce (a whopping $115 million) that Netflix is reportedly changing its entire originals spending model as a result of it. However, to hear Ted Sarandos talk, the film was a whopping success for the streaming service. After execs initially boasted that the film drew 52 million views in the first four weeks, Sarandos later upped the number 62 million total viewers (and counting) as of early July.

Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner, <em>The Highwaymen</em>Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner, The Highwaymen

As of April, the drama starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the duo which took down Bonnie and Clyde was already on track to garner 40 million views in its first month.

Ja Rule and Billy McFarland,<em> Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened</em>Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened

Despite Hulu dropping its own Fyre Festival documentary before Netflix's already-announced premiere date, Netflix's version of the story still got plenty of attention. According to Netflix executives, 20 million people savored in the schadenfreude of seeing this shindig flame out within the first month of its release.

<em>Our Planet</em>Our Planet

This critically important environmental docu-series was on track to earn 40 million views in its first month of release alone, according to Netflix's quarterly shareholder roll-out in April 2019.

Penn Badgley, YOUPenn Badgley, YOU

After YOU moved from its original home at Lifetime to the streaming service, Netflix revealed that over 40 million households had tuned in to find out what all that creepy Joe Goldberg fascination was about in the first four weeks of Season 1's arrival to the stream scene.

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Emma Mackey and Asa Butterfield, <em>Sex Education</em>Emma Mackey and Asa Butterfield, Sex Education

With numbers like these, it's no wonder Netflix so quickly ordered a second season of this coming-of-age series. Per Netflix, 40 million accounts were on track to stream the edgy YA series within its first month — although, as some critics quickly pointed out, those numbers came within days of the series' debut, which puts an asterisk next to that estimation.


Another series that got an official viewership boast from Netflix was the Spanish-language teen drama series Elite, which Netflix said was viewed by 20 million people in its first four weeks on the service. The series had already been renewed for a second season by the time Netflix shared those numbers.

Sandra Bullock, <em>Bird Box</em>Sandra Bullock, Bird Box

This Sandra Bullock-led thriller gave a lot of audiences a good winter holiday scare, as Netflix claimed that more than 45 million accounts tuned in within the first week to see what was causing all the blindfolded Bird Box challenge commotion online. If there were any doubts that Netflix's claim was legitimate, Nielsen was able to provide some supporting data, although its estimate was that 26 million viewers had seen the film in the first seven days.

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