Netflix spent $90 million on the production of Bright, an unlikely hybrid of buddy cop movie and high fantasy. Will that investment pay off? Well, Nielsen has released some initial viewership numbers, reporting that the film reached 11 million U.S. viewers in its first three days.
The firm announced its plans to measure Netflix’s audience back in October. Since then, it’s said that the first episode of Stranger Things 2 reached 15.8 million people in its first three days, while the second season premiere of The Crown reached nearly 3 million viewers in the same time frame.
Netflix has disputed these numbers, saying that Nielsen is only capturing a fraction of the total, but the streaming service doesn’t release any viewership data of its own.
As for Bright, Nielsen says 7 million viewers were between 18 and 49 years old, while 56 percent were male and 44 percent female.
The film stars Will Smith as a Los Angeles cop, with Joel Edgerton (under heavy makeup) as his orc-ish partner, and Noomi Rapace as a villainous elf. It reunites Smith with his Suicide Squad director David Ayer, and just like Suicide Squad, it’s gotten scathing reviews — IndieWire’s David Ehrlich described it as “profoundly awful.” (We’re planning to review it on a future episode of the Original Content podcast, but in the meantime, I will say this: Bright is bad, but not quite as bad as Suicide Squad.)
Looks like those reviews didn’t dissuade viewers from checking out the movie, but it remains to be seen whether Bright will continue to draw an audience — and whether that audience will have any interest in watching the already greenlit sequel.