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How many people really watched “Bright” on Netflix? Nielsen says it has some answers

How many people really watched “Bright” on Netflix? Nielsen says it has some answers
[Photo: Matt Kennedy/Netflix]

There’s been a lot of speculation around Bright, Netflix’s much-hyped fantasy cop drama, which stars Will Smith and is the streaming company’s first foray into big-budget movie territory. The big question is whether the $90 million project would pay off, although, as our Nicole LaPorte pointed out last week, Netflix’s release strategy is so vastly different than that of a traditional movie company, it may not ultimately matter of the movie attracts a blockbuster-level audience.

Since Netflix doesn’t release internal metrics around how well its titles perform, it’s hard to know for sure. But Nielsen, which recently launched a service to measure viewership on streaming platforms, just put out some figures: The ratings firm says Bright attracted an average minute audience of over 11 million U.S. viewers in the first three days of its availability. Almost 4 million of those viewers were between 18-34, which means the movie skewed much younger than, say, The Crown, whose average viewer is over 50. Bright‘s audience also skewed male, Nielsen says, with the gender breakdown being 56% men to 44% women.

Bright was not especially well reviewed, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Per Bloomberg, Netflix is already plotting out a sequel, with Will Smith set to return. Can we call it cinematic without the cinema? In my opinion, no, but then I seem to be outside of Netflix’s target demo here. Alas.

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