‘Bird Box’: Netflix stokes peer power with 45 million viewership figure


The thriller follows Sandra Bullock as she tries to survive an unseen presence that causes people to kill themselves.

While sharing a Sandra Bullock's character GIF, Netflix wrote, "Took off my blindfold this morning to discover that 45,037,125 Netflix accounts have already watched Bird Box - best first 7 days ever for a Netflix film!".

This assertion attracted some side-eyeing from those familiar with Netflix's general behavior in reporting.

Finally, there's no independent, third-party sourcing involved, a la the Nielsen ratings. However, that sort of statistic is mostly meaningless, because it's coming from Netflix.

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Being clear-eyed about Netflix's Twitter brags doesn't mean that we have to be unimpressed with Bird Box's success.

Exactly how Netflix qualifies what counts as a viewing is another question. But it's also important to note that Netflix is counting by accounts.

It is worth wondering whether such statistics can influence the filmmaker's career, given that they can't be backed up.

Based on the 2014 novel by Josh Malerman and adapted by screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Oscar-winning alien contact movie Arrival), Netflix had Susanne Bier of award-winning film In a Better World and TV hit The Night Manager as the feature's director.

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Movie studios don't always know how audiences will react to a film and, while some plot points might seem innocuous to the powers that be, certain viewers can pick up on themes the filmmakers didn't and point out a project's failures. And, according to Netflix, the movie is quite popular with its subscribers, as some 45 million accounts streamed it within the first seven days. And while we can't show you, in an interview with, the cast describes the creatures perfectly.

In the movie, Sandra Bullock's character is forced to wear a blindfold in order to keep monsters away as she navigates spooky woods and a risky river while trying to save her children. The title comes from the box of birds she and her young children bring onto their boat.

Or maybe it was all the jokes and memes filling the internet - they are good publicity, after all.

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