13.2 Million US Viewers Watched The Irishman in Its First 5 Days on Netflix

Martin Scorsese movie outpaces El Camino, according to Nielsen

Mark your calendar for Mediaweek, October 29-30 in New York City. We’ll unpack the biggest shifts shaping the future of media—from tv to retail media to tech—and how marketers can prep to stay ahead. Register with early-bird rates before sale ends!

Netflix’s most high-profile movie yet—the gangster epic The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino—had a strong debut, with 13.2 million U.S. accounts streaming the film in its five days, according to Nielsen.

The 3.5-hour drama averaged nearly 2.6 million U.S. viewers on its premiere date, Wednesday, Nov. 27. The film averaged more than 2 million viewers each day during its first five days, peaking on Friday, Nov. 29, with 3.1 million viewers.

The data comes from Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings, which measure the average-per-minute audience of U.S. viewers watching Netflix on connected TV devices like smart TVs and Roku. That accounts for about 75% of all Netflix viewing, but does not include mobile or computer streaming.

So Nielsen’s rating does not account for the entire U.S. audience, nor does it include Netflix’s international viewers. The streaming service has more than 158 million subscribers globally (and 60.6 million U.S. subscribers)—though the company estimates that around 300 million people actually use the service.

The Irishman had 17.1 million unique viewers over its first five days, according to Nielsen, though many of those viewers did not watch the entire film. Nielsen said 751,000 viewers watched The Irishman in its entirety on Wednesday.

The Irishman’s five-day audience of 13.2 million put it ahead of the recent Breaking Bad sequel film El Camino (8.2 million) but behind Bird Box (16.9 million), which was a major hit for the service last December.

By the end of the first five days, The Irishman’s median age of viewers was 49, on par with Season 2 of The Crown (50), but significantly older than the average Netflix program viewer (31).

Netflix has long discounted Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings, claiming that “the data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.”

However, the SVOD Content Ratings have on multiple occasions lined up with the selective metrics that Netflix releases about its own shows. The streaming service hasn’t yet shared any data about The Irishman, which aired in a handful of theaters for a few weeks before it began streaming on Netflix.