As the most popular streaming service in the world with over 100 million more subscribers than their closest competitors, Netflix are obligated to serve up a steady stream of fresh content to keep their customers occupied. They might be spending close to $20 billion on in-house originals this year alone, but it’s extremely difficult to maintain a platform made up entirely of exclusive titles, which is why so many licensed movies and TV shows are added each month.
Due to the restrictions put in place around the world as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, people are spending a lot more time at home than usual, and understandably, viewership figures for all of the major services have gone through the roof, which has led to some pretty unexpected titles dominating Netflix’s Top 10 most-watched list.
The most recent is Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West, which cracked the Top 10 despite not being a very good movie, one that also disappointed at the box office. Similarly, Nicolas Cage thriller The Frozen Ground managed to reach the number one spot seven years after it flew completely under the radar with a soft box office haul of just $5.6 million.
Animal Crackers, meanwhile, spent three years on the shelf before becoming one of the most popular family-friendly movies of the summer along with Eddie Murphy’s box office bomb A Thousand Words, while criminally underrated thriller The Guest also found a new lease of life on the platform after failing to even recoup the $5 million budget in theaters when it first arrived in 2014.
Based on the makeup of the Top 10 list over the last few months, Netflix seems to be the go-to destination now for overlooked and forgotten genre movies to find a whole new audience years after they initially sank without a trace, and titles like the ones mentioned above have often proved to be more popular than most of the expensively-assembled original content found on the streaming site.