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Netflix’s ‘The Irishman’ Snagged 13.2 Million Viewers in Its First 5 Days, According to Nielsen

Stephanie Sengwe

It seems Netflix’s “The Irishman” lived up to its expectations as Nielsen reports the Martin Scorsese movie premiered to large numbers. According to Nielsen, the film averaged 2.6 million viewers per minute in the U.S. when it debuted on Nov. 27 and held steady throughout Thanksgiving weekend.

Nielsen also reported that the Oscar hopeful garnered a total average minute audience of 13.2 million viewers in its first five days since premiering on Netflix, reaching its peak on Nov. 29, when it reached 3.1 million viewers, and then slightly dipped on Nov. 30 with 2.8 million viewers. Despite being over three hours long, the movie still captivated watchers. Nielsen reported that on the premiere day, 751,000 viewers saw it in its entirety, and approximately 930,000 on Nov. 29.

Reports first came out in August stating that the film would be in independent theaters, though not any of the major ones — AMC and Cineplex affiliates as well as Regal and Cinemark theaters. The reason was that these chains found the four-week period between theatrical release and streaming to be too short. Movies, they said, must maintain their standard three-month run in order for theaters to remain in business in the long run. Should an exception be made for Netflix this one time, other studios will be requesting the same exception be applied to their films as well.

While “The Irishman” is said to be a top contender at the Oscars, its eligibility doesn’t come without controversy. Earlier this year, the Justice Department had to get involved when the Academy attempted to make rules that would ban streaming services — Hulu and Amazon were included — from winning an Oscar. In a letter obtained by Variety, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division wrote to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saying that banning streaming services “may raise antitrust concerns.”

The Irishman Trailer