December 7, 2019 11:20 pm

Scorsese’s “The Irishman” award focus is topped by “Bird Box”

Martin Scorsese's The Irishman was made by Netflix for awards not views
Credit: Netflix

When Martin Scorsese says Marvel movies are “not cinema,” everyone pays attention. The man is an award-winning legend. So, when his gangster epic The Irishman gets whacked in Netflix views, we’re going to take note.

Nielsen data

The numbers aren’t official, but make for interesting reading:

  • The median age of The Irishman viewer was 49, while the average Netflix user is 31.
  • 17.1 million streamed The Irishman over its release week, but only 18% watched the whole movie.
  • 26 million streamed Sandra Bullock’s Bird Box during the same period. With only 18% watching the whole movie.

That’s a significant difference between movies, especially considering the headlines and award discussion circulating about Scorsese’s The Irishman. It appears Netflix put awards over views.

Bigger than views


Netflix’s success has been boiled down to a Silicon Valley mentality. They disrupt a market using data, and then gobble up the pieces. They have already destroyed Blockbuster video, and led the charge in disrupting pay TV.

So what if The Irishman, a massive 3-and-half-hour epic gangster movie was made for awards bait? This movie could end up being a major piece in Netflix’s plan to disrupt theatres.

Make it digestible

Despite Netflix using Martin Scorsese and The Irishman in their pursuit of awards, they could make a miniseries out of the film. It has multiple scenes that would be ideal moments to cut into consumer-friendly episodes.

It’s understandable that Netflix didn’t do it for release, but now that the movie is out and off theatres, it will be interesting to see if the streaming giant goes back and reviews strategy.


If they do, it shows Netflix remains audience-driven. If they don’t, it shows that Netflix don’t necessarily care if people view The Irishman — and that would be disappointing.

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