In case it wasn’t clear that Stranger Things season 4, after a multi-year, pandemic-driven hiatus, was going to be a monster, we now have actual data to back that up.
After instantly rocketing to number one in the top 10 list, we now know that Stranger Things season 4 has already been viewed for 287 million hours during its “opening weekend,” according to Netflix’s own metrics. Netflix has only recently been publicly revealing the “hours viewed” stat every week, so one record we know this has broken was the previous first place, Bridgerton season 2, which had 193 million hours viewed over the same time frame.
This should also be more than Squid Games’ opening, as that show took a little bit longer to start ramping up into the global phenomenon it became, but those are the numbers Stranger Things would be aiming for, with 1.65 billion hours viewed in its first 28 days of release, 2.2 billion hours total, by last count.
Can it get there? Even with this massive performance, it’s still a tall order, though Stranger Things has proven to be an international hit with season 4 being #1 in 80+ countries. There’s not a very good way to compare it to the performance of season 3, because that was back when Netflix was reporting “member households” where 64 million watched Stranger Things season 3 its first month. But even if it’s apples to oranges, it seems pretty clear that Stranger Things season 4 is likely to be the most popular season of the show to date.
And of course, this isn’t even the whole season. Netflix is saving two more episodes running for four hours total for July 1, which will be the end of season 4, even if the last episode of this first batch of seven was very much a climax in its own way. After that, season 5 has already been greenlit, which will be the final season of the show, something Netflix is clearly going to miss very, very much when it’s gone. At least they have six more Bridgerton books to adapt.
Stranger Things season 4 also happens to be…excellent. This is not a case of something becoming massively popular on Netflix and also not…being very good. Not to throw shade on Bridgerton season 2 specifically, but that does tend to happen pretty often. This is probably the best hours-viewed-to-high-scores performance since…Squid Game itself, which is obviously something Netflix is thrilled about. After all this time, the Duffer Brothers have not lost a step.
We’ll keep tracking its performance, and I expect further records to be set from here.