Bird Box has received mixed to positive reviews from critics.
The film also found itself a surprise hit among social media users who juxtaposed contrasting images and text from Bird Box and elsewhere to create humorous, widely shared riffs and jokes. The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Feinberg isn't quite so positive.
But over the weekend, as the industry publicly debated how real that 45 million number was, Netflix gave another rare reveal: It defined a "view".
Shares of Netflix are up 33% YTD.
Netflix announced on December 28 that more than 45 million accounts watched its Netflix original horror movie, Bird Box, in seven days, making it a record-breaking debut for the streaming service - but considering Netflix rarely specifies what its data means, it was hard to gauge what that number meant. It could be a great deal more than 45 million. Last year, the Cannes Film Festival banned Netflix original movies from competing for the top prize - Palme d'Or - at the annual movie event. "I'll still make The Post and ask an audience to please go out to theaters and see The Post and not make it for Netflix".
Exactly how Netflix qualifies what counts as a viewing is another question.
But recall as well that Netflix's 137 million accounts include about 58 million USA -based accounts, leaving about 79 million accounts overseas. "I want to believe it but just can't".
Visit INSIDER's homepage for more. They don't have to account for consumer logistics - figuring out what theater is playing the film you want to see, getting up and leaving home, especially in the snow, purchasing tickets.
Being clear-eyed about Netflix's Twitter brags doesn't mean that we have to be unimpressed with Bird Box's success. "'It Follows" has been on Netflix for two years, and I have no idea how many people have viewed the film. "So it would have been the wrong decision". The rom-com became one of the most viewed original films on the platform.