Netflix's 'Bright' Spot: Nielsen Says 11 Million Have Watched Panned Flick

The critically maligned movie debuted on the streaming service over Christmas weekend, skewing young and male.

There may not anything particularly luminous about Bright's reception among film critics, but Netflix's pricey feature has at least found a silver lining with subscribers. The film had a stellar opening weekend, per Nielsen Media stats.

An average 11 million U.S. Netflix viewers watched the David Ayer fantasy-drama over its first three days on the streaming service, a long weekend that included a busy Christmas Eve. Between Dec. 22 and 24, a young and male-skewing audience tuned in for one of the streamer's biggest feature releases to date — one that cost them a reported $90 million.

Of the 11 million who've already watched Bright, 7 million of them fell into the younger demo of adults 18-49 — not that the pay-service has particular use for demos. 56 percent of the total audience was male.

The perceived success of Bright comes after a near-universal panning from critics. The Will Smith-Joel Edgerton cop jaunt currently boasts a dismal 28 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an equally anemic 29 (out of 100) on review aggregate Metacritic. The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore called it "embarrassing."

There's no apples to apples with holiday box office, since a ticket to Bright required little more than a flick of the Apple TV remote, but it's worth noting that the movie fell far short of Netflix's biggest TV entry of the lat few months. Stranger Things 2 brought more than 15 million viewers to its premiere over the same period of time.

Still, it's worth a reminder that both those stats are likely under-estimates. Nielsen currently only measures Netflix usage over traditional TVs, losing the many viewers tuning in on desktop and mobile.