In your daily scroll through the Netflix carousel, you’ve probably noticed a new Netflix-exclusive Christmas movie starring veteran actor Kurt Russell called The Christmas Chronicles. As it turns out, while the movie flew somewhat under the radar, the film has been extraordinary successful.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said this week that the film generated 20 million views in its first week. According to Sarandos, that would work out to a $200 million opening if The Christmas Chronicles was released traditionally in theaters.
“If every one of those [20 million streams] was a movie ticket purchase, that’s a $US 200 million opening week,” he said, as reported by Business Insider. “Even movies that go on to $US1 billion don’t typically do that in the first week.”
According to Sarandos, The Christmas Chronicles is Russell’s biggest opening ever for one of his movies. “Even in his successful career, he’s never had that many people see one of his movies in the first week ever,” he said. “That’s a testimony to what we can bring to the market for storytellers today that we couldn’t have ten years ago.”
Importantly, it’s unclear how many of the 20 million first-week streams for The Christmas Chronicles are repeats. But whatever the case, it is clear the movie has been popular, and while Sarandos is spinning the numbers in a way that makes Netflix look better, he’s of course absolutely right that Netflix is shaking up the film world.
Russell, who has been acting for decades, recently appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which made $146.5 million over its first three days and $183 million in its first week, according to the report.
The Christmas Chronicles stars Russell as Santa, along with Judah Lewis and Darby Camp as the brother and sister who caused Santa’s sleigh to crash. Together, they must all save Christmas.
The movie, which was released at the end of November, was directed by Clay Kaytis (The Angry Birds Movie) and produced by Harry Potter and Home Alone director Chris Columbus.