The Worst Movies That Became Hits on Netflix
Since July of 2021, Netflix has maintained a site where anyone, subscriber and non-subscriber alike, can learn the service’s most popular films and shows in the United States and around the world. Updated each Tuesday, the site reveals the ten most-watched movies and shows in a given week, in English and other languages.
Most of these titles are produced by Netflix itself, whose in-house programmers and executives have helped foster such film and TV hits as Stranger Things, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Wednesday, The Irishman, Bridgerton, and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. But even now that Netflix routinely churns out dozens of hours of original content every single month, the company still relies on licensed content from outside studios for a big segment of their catalogue — and much of that licensed content continues to appear on those weekly top ten lists.
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Some of the names on those weekly lists are not surprising; of course big-screen blockbusters like Minions: The Rise of Gru or The Hunger Games are going to do well when people can watch them at home for the price of their monthly Netflix subscription. Some of the other titles that show up throughout (and sometimes at the top of) these top ten lists are shocking though — because these are movies that tanked in theaters, or got terrible reviews, or both. And yet when they were added to Netflix’s catalogue, people watched them by the thousands.
The list that follows contains a dozen examples of the latter; movies that were major critical or commercial flops in theaters that found much more appreciative audiences on Netflix. Perhaps there really is no accounting for taste — at least when you’re already paying a monthly fee and you don’t need to move your tush off your couch to exercise that taste. (To do you your own digging into Netflix’s most popular films and shows, go to this website.)