‘Stranger Things 4’ Shatters Netflix’s Premiere-Weekend Viewing Record

“Stranger Things 4” is already turning Netflix viewership records Upside Down. The sci-fi drama just experienced the streaming service’s best-ever debut weekend for an English-language series, drawing 286.79 million hours viewed with this season’s Volume 1.

That tally dethroned “Bridgerton” Season 2, which hit 193 million hours over its own premiere weekend.

The fourth season of “Stranger Things” set another new premiere-weekend record when it reached number one in 83 countries. (Netflix tracks 93 countries; “Stranger Things 4: Vol. 1” made the top 10 in all of them.)

Catchup viewing was also in full force: “Stranger Things” Seasons 1-3 also made Netflix’s top 10 in the U.S. last week; technically, they all made the top five. The O.G. season topped 38 million hours, good for third place. (“The Lincoln Lawyer: Season 1” split “Stranger Things 4” and the first season of the series with nearly 65 million hours viewed.) “Stranger Things 3” had more than 24 million hours viewed last week; “Stranger Things 2” got north of 22 million hours.

While Netflix’s top 10 spans Monday-Sunday, “Stranger Things 4: Vol. 1” debuted on Friday. The 286.79 million hours do not include viewership on actual Memorial Day.

“Bridgerton” Season 2, by the way, was on the top 10 for its 10th week in a row. The Shondaland regency-period series ranked ninth with 11.34 million hours viewed last week. “Stranger Things 4” is still coming for “Bridgerton’s” 28-day record.

Ten days ago, we wrote about why “Stranger Things 4” will beat “Bridgerton” Season 2 for Netflix’s overall English-language viewing record. We’re feeling even more confident today.

Season 2 of “Bridgerton” racked up 656.26 million hours viewed in the 28 days after it was released March 25. And what record-holder did “Bridgerton” Season 2 eclipse? “Bridgerton” Season 1, which viewers watched for 625.49 million hours in its first 28 days. It dethroned then-reigning champ “Stranger Things 3” on the Netflix-maintained (and occasionally EY-audited) list. “ST3” and both “Bridgerton” seasons were eight episodes each.

Technically, two foreign-language series outperformed both “Bridgerton” seasons. The absolute phenomenon that was “Squid Game: Season 1” tallied a whopping 1.65 billion hours viewed in its first four full weeks on the platform. “Money Heist: Part 5” netted 792 million hours. Part 4 of “Money Heist” outdid “Stranger Things 3” with 619 million hours watched vs. 582 million.

It’ll be a while before we really know the overall “Stranger Things 4” 28-day tally. With the season split into two parts, the “Volume 2” hours won’t be calculable until four weeks after their July 1 premiere.

All in, “Stranger Things 4” will run about 13 hours. Each “Bridgerton” season ran eight hours.

More to come…

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