Michael Bay's '6 Underground' Viewed by 83 Million Members, Netflix Says

Courtesy Netflix
'6 Underground'

The streamer didn't disclose similar viewership numbers for Oscar contenders 'The Irishman' and 'Marriage Story.'

Michael Bay's big-budget action pic 6 Underground, starring Ryan Reynolds, was viewed by 83 million member households in its first four weeks on Netflix, the streaming giant said Tuesday in a shareholder letter.

Netflix's audience metric, which is not verified by a third party, now counts a viewer as someone who watches at least two minutes of a film or show. Previously, it was 70 percent. It still doesn't count multiple viewers using the same account.

The change in methodology, revealed in the shareholder letter, makes it tough to compare 6 Underground's viewership to other Netflix movies, and insiders say Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, remains the most watched original movie on the streamer either way.

6 Underground, which cost a reported $150 million to make, debuted Dec. 10 on Netflix. Skydance produced the film.

Netflix didn't include first-month viewership numbers for Martin Scorsese's The Irishman or Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, both of which are competing in the best picture Oscar race.

It did, however, say that Sergio Pablos' Klaus — the streamer's first feature-length animated film — was watched by 40 million households in in its first 28 days. Klaus is up for an Oscar for best animated film.

"The nominated feature films produced by the Netflix studio like ​The Irishman, ​Marriage Story​ and ​The Two Popes ​were also very popular with our members. Having launched our original film initiative just under five years ago, this is a proud achievement and a testament to the creative talent with whom we partner​," the shareholder letter said.

Netflix said the new, two-minute metric is more equitable in determining the "choose to watch" factor.

"This way, short and long titles are treated equally, leveling the playing field for all types of our content including interactive content, which has no fixed length. The new metric is about 35 percent higher on average than the prior metric. For example, 45 [million] member households chose to watch ​Our Planet​ under the new metric vs. 33 [million] under the prior metric," the letter stated.