The Real ‘Knives Out’ Mystery

‘Glass Onion’ director Rian Johnson with stars Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson and producer Ram Bergman.
‘Glass Onion’ director Rian Johnson with stars Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson, and producer Ram Bergman. Photo: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Netflix
Julia Alexander
January 3, 2023

Netflix’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is officially a Top 10 title, with 209.4 million hours streamed since its Dec. 23 debut, beating out The Kissing Booth 2. As it stands, it needs an additional 10 million or so completed views (24 million hours) to beat The Adam Project and become a Top 5 title of all time. So while its somewhat muted debut of 82.1 million hours paled in comparison to other major titles—including Don’t Look Up, Red Notice, and The Gray Man—its second week proves why it’s often unfair to judge a Netflix film based on its opening weekend, like we do with traditional box office movies. 

Naturally the big question some may still have is whether the one-week theatrical release hindered the Glass Onion performance on Netflix. It grossed about $13.3 million in its limited, 650-screen domestic run—about 1.3 million seats, using the national average of $10 a ticket. Taking into account that you can’t do apples-to-apples math here—there are about 3.5 viewers per Netflix “household stream,” co-C.E.O. Ted Sarandos has said—the answer is that theaters probably didn’t hurt streaming. 

Glass Onion’s debut of 82.1 million hours represents the third strongest Friday film debut for Netflix in 2022. Domestic demand for the film’s premiere on Netflix was also higher than its demand at the time of its theatrical release, according to Parrot Analytics, where I work. With a 93 percent audience score, it’s also one of the highest-rated films on Rotten Tomatoes. Google Trends data suggests it’s on par with other major Netflix franchise entries, including The Witcher: Blood Origins