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Dec 6, 2019

'The Irishman' is a Netflix hit, even if few make it to the end

Keith Richards discusses Netflix

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The Irishman, the three-and-a-half-hour gangster epic that debuted on Netflix Inc. last week, was seen by 13.2 million U.S. viewers over its first five days of release, a solid showing for a film on the streaming service.

The Martin Scorsese-directed movie attracted a bigger average audience over five days than El Camino, the Breaking Bad-inspired film that Netflix released earlier this year, according to Nielsen. But it fell short of the 16.9 million attracted by Bird Box, the supernatural thriller starring Sandra Bullock that came out at the end of 2018.

Only 18 per cent of viewers made it all the way through The Irishman, which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. But that’s not unusual for a Netflix movie. A similar number finished “Bird Box,” and only 11 per cent completed El Camino.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving — the most popular day for viewing The Irishman — 930,000 viewers watched the entire movie, Nielsen said.

The movie did best with older viewers, perhaps not surprising given its septuagenarian cast. The median age of viewers was 49 years old, Nielsen found. That’s compares with the average age of 31 for Netflix users.

Netflix released The Irishman in movie theaters for a few weeks before it appeared on the streaming service, ensuring that it can compete for the Academy Awards. It’s the current favourite for best picture at the award site GoldDerby.