Netflix’s ‘Beasts Of No Nation’ Seen By 3 Million People Despite Box Office Bomb

By 10/27/2015
Netflix’s ‘Beasts Of No Nation’ Seen By 3 Million People Despite Box Office Bomb

Netflix has never been one to reveal ratings or viewership stats of its original shows and films. But CCO Ted Sarandos recently broke the streaming service’s rule when he said three million people have already watched the Netflix original film Beasts of No Nation in North America alone.

Originally picked up by Netflix in March 2015, Beasts of No Nation is directed by Cary Fukunaga (of the first season of True Detective fame) and stars Idris Elba (of lots of things fame, including The Wire) as an African warlord who recruits an orphaned boy into his army. Netflix started streaming the film to 40 million homes on October 16. A few days later, a Netflix rep told Deadline it wasn’t going to issue any metrics on the film but the streaming platform was “very happy” with the title’s results.

Now, Sarandos made an exception to Netflix’s notorious no-ratings rule when he told Deadline about the millions of North American views. And this three million figure could only be the tip of the iceberg. Over the course of two weeks, Netflix made Beasts of No Nation available to over 69 million households worldwide in over 50 countries. And the total viewership numbers remain hidden, as is typical for Netflix. Sarandos did clarify Beasts of No Nation was the most-watched movie on Netflix in every country the streaming platform services, even in the nations where specialty films can’t or don’t usually succeed in terms of box office revenue.


Subscribe to get the latest creator news


“[Beasts of No Nation] was No. 1 in really diverse places in the world — Japan, Brazil, Mexico, places where these films typically never even open,” Sarandos said. “It’s been incredibly gratifying to see these audiences respond to this film.”

However, the financial success of Netflix’s investment into Beasts of No Nation is still undetermined. The streaming platform reportedly doled out $12 million to distribute the film, but only made about $50,000 from a limited 31-theater release. Large movie theater chains like AMC and Regal boycotted the Netflix film because they wanted the SVOD platform to wait 90 days after theatrical release to stream the film, instead of debuting Beasts of No Nation online and in theaters at the same time.

Sarandos doesn’t seem fazed. “There’s only so much we can do about what happens in the theater,” the Netflix CCO said. “We can make it available and try to book it, but if theater owners don’t want to book it, they won’t book it. Whether it’s in a theater or at home, our focus is on the total audience of the film. We just want people to see and love this movie. And they are seeing, and loving, this movie.”

To Netflix’s credit, critics certainly love Beasts of No Nation. The movie currently has an overall 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience score of 94%. 

Subscribe for daily Tubefilter Top Stories

Stay up-to-date with the latest and breaking creator and online video news delivered right to your inbox.