Almost 75 million of Netflix‘s 200 million subscribers might reside in the United States, but foreign-language movies and TV shows have been proving increasingly popular in terms of viewership over the last twelve months. Season 4 of Spanish crime thriller Money Heist ranks as one of the platform’s most-watched shows ever, while miniseries Lupin became the first French production to crack the Top 10 most-watched list in the U.S on its way to racking up 70 million streams in four weeks to take the third spot on the all-time viewership charts.
Meanwhile, Spanish actioner Below Zero rocketed to first place in the rankings shortly after being added to the library on January 29th, and it’s been hanging around the Top 10 ever since. The latest unexpected title to draw in a massive audience, though, is South Korean sci-fi blockbuster Space Sweepers, which has reigned as the single most popular film on Netflix for the last 72 hours and counting.
Marketed as the country’s first sci-fi epic, Space Sweepers was scheduled to hit theaters last summer before the Coronavirus pandemic decimated the entire industry, with Netflix picking up the distribution rights in November to make it a streaming exclusive instead. That turned out to be a shrewd move on the company’s part, with Jo Sung-hee’s movie drawing in plenty of eyeballs.
The plot follows a team of astronauts who find a seven year-old kid hiding in the debris of a destroyed shuttle, only to discover that she’s a lifelike android wanted by a shady corporation, so they decide to strike a risky deal for an exchange. Audiences are clearly desperate for some effects-driven escapism given the dearth of blockbusters over the last twelve months, so it isn’t a surprise that Space Sweepers has proven to be so popular considering the fact that it boasts epic action and a high concept premise.