ARTNEWSPRESS: Scorsese’s The Irishman, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, has been watched by over 17 million viewers in the first five days on Netflix.
The Irishman has been watched by over 17 million U.S. viewers in the first five days on Netflix. Directed by the award-winning Martin Scorsese, The Irishman tells the ambitious real life story of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, played here by Robert De Niro, and his journey throughout WWII and beyond, one which ends with a life serving a crime family and interactions with the famous Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) before his unexplained disappearance. One of the most talked about films of the year, The Irishman was recently named the best film of 2019 by the National Board of Review.
The Irishman received a limited theatrical release in November prior to its debut on Netflix, and even though the critics have had nothing but good things to say about the film some viewers are calling The Irishman kind of boring. Some are chalking this up to the simple fact that it’s a movie which possesses a very lengthy run-time, something which doesn’t often work well for people watching a movie at home. Nevertheless, even if the story didn’t grab every single viewer, most couldn’t help but appreciate The Irishman’s CGI de-aging which is in effect for most of the main characters throughout a good portion of the film.
Variety recently reported that according to Nielsen, Netflix’s mafia thriller The Irishman was watched by over 17 million unique viewers in the U.S. during the first five days of its streaming release. The film didn’t beat out last year’s Netflix hit starring Sandra Bullock, Bird Box, which “scored nearly 26 million viewers in its first seven days of availability” in December of 2018. Said to be a “steady” amount of viewers for the first five days, The Irishman registered an average minute audience of 13.2 million in the U.S. over that span of time, which basically measures “the average number of viewers calculated based on a movie’s total runtime” — which, again, didn’t beat out Bird Box’s numbers at 16.9 million, but it was higher than those of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which clocked in at 8.2 million.
Variety also reports even with these numbers it’s hard to say if Netflix can officially call The Irishman a certified hit on the streaming service. With a whopping reported $175 million budget (in no doubt due in large part to all of the CGI de-aging) the film only “brought in an average minute audience of nearly 2.6 million viewers and 3.9 million unique viewers in the U.S., per Nielsen,” on the November 27th premiere date. With its debut to the streaming service happening over the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, Variety proposes The Irishman’s 3.5 hour run-time may have deterred some families from digging into the crime saga during their turkey dinners.
Whether the numbers add up to being the hit movie of 2019 on Netflix or not, the sheer buzz and critical praise leading up to award season is definitely not anything to frown at, with many calling The Irishman a total criminal masterpiece. Similar to all art that exists, particularly television and film, it’s all subjective in the end, and what one might call a classic piece of cinema another might call a long-winded and boring slog. Setting numbers aside, there’s really no right or wrong answer when it comes to such things, it just all depends on who’s watching and their individual movie tastes.