UPDATED with Netflix’s own numbers. Netflix’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie reached nearly 8.2 million viewers in the U.S. in its opening weekend last Friday through Sunday, according to the latest data from Nielsen.
But that’s just in the U.S. On a global basis, according to fresh stats tweeted today by the streaming giant, 25,734,392 households (a nice, round number) watched the film in its first seven days. “Households” is also not the same as the total number of viewers. The traditional notion of a family gathered around the cathode-ray tube does not apply to streaming, where the same member account can be used by one family member streaming on a phone and others watching other ways.
Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings service found the film drew an average minute audience of 6.5 million, with 2.6 million of that coming on its October 11 opening day. That multiple, in traditional movie box office terms, is a fairly attractive one for such a pre-sold property, which would normally have a disproportionately large first-day audience. Translating theatrical moviegoing dynamics to streaming viewing, of course, is not an exact science — especially when the numbers are only from the U.S., which accounts for less than 40% of Netflix’s global subscriber tally.
That said, the Nielsen insights are worth some consideration. The measurement firm said 36% of opening-weekend viewers were aged 18 to 34, the most represented age demo. The audience skewed heavily male, with nearly 40% of the opening-weekend viewership males aged 18-49.
In preparation for the stealthily marketed sequel movie that revisited the AMC drama classic, Nielsen said viewing of the original series on Netflix surged. During the week of the premiere, October 7-13, the average minute audience of U.S. TV viewers for Breaking Bad topped 153,000, a spike of 147% from the 62,000 watching it in mid-September.
Netflix name-checked the movie when it released its third-quarter earnings Wednesday, but did not offer its own viewership data. It did disclose numbers for a select number of other film and TV titles.
At a moment when many media companies are changing their stances on Netflix, pulling back content in order to control their own streaming destinies, AMC has generally embraced the streaming giant’s amplifier effect. As with some of its other standout shows in past years like Mad Men, the linear ratings for Breaking Bad experienced stair-step growth each season during its run, spurts the network attributed in large part to Netflix. AMC Networks has made a push into streaming, but in a more niche fashion via outlets like BritBox, Shudder and SundanceNow. AMC Premiere, a commercial-free subscription streaming outlet, features several of the network’s shows but not Breaking Bad.
Here is a more detailed Nielsen chart with some more numbers:
And here is Netflix’s rather straightforward tweet about the film’s viewership: