It’s a sad reality that for every Roma or The Irishman, there’s still about a dozen Murder Mysterys. Even as the major streaming services fight an uphill battle for recognition that their original films have artistic merit and should be recognized at major awards shows, they can’t deny that the films that actually get watched on their services usually trend toward the lowest common denominator. And thus: Adam Sandler in Murder Mystery, which Netflix has announced just had its biggest opening weekend ever in terms of viewership.
That’s right—almost 31 million different accounts watched Sandler and co-star Jennifer Anniston team up for a light, Hercule Poirot-style whodunit this past weekend. What’s more, Netflix claims that it only records those accounts that watched at least 70 percent of the film, so it can be assumed (if Netflix’s stats are legit) that even more accounts watched some part of Murder Mystery before switching it off. Not bad, for a film we didn’t even know existed.
That’s par for the course with Sandler and Netflix, though. The service first signed a four-year deal with the comedian back in 2015, and extended that deal into another four movies in 2017, after seeing the massive viewership numbers on the first crop. Those films have been universally panned by critics, but it’s clearly the vox populi being voiced in these viewership numbers on Netflix. They like their dumb comedies, and they like when Adam Sandler appears in them. Jennifer Anniston, it would seem—reunited with Sandler after starring in 2011’s Just Go With It—is another bonus.
Of course, it’s hard to say just exactly how impressive these numbers are, given that they still exist in what is mostly a vacuum. Netflix guards its numbers pretty carefully, but in recent years has been more willing to share bits and pieces of “good news” or carefully chosen snippets that show the massive scope of its streaming audience. During the company’s Q1 earnings call, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos suggested that these releases would become more common.
“Over the next several months, we are going to be rolling out more specific, granular reporting,” Sarandos said. “First to our producers, and then to our members, and be more fully transparent about what people are watching on Netflix around the world.”
So good news, folks: You’ll be able to know exactly what percentage of your neighbors likely watched any given Adam Sandler movie.