Netflix's Biggest Hit Movies and Shows, Ranked (According to Netflix)

Netflix publishes weekly stats on its most watched series and films. These are the biggest hits so far.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
7 min read
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Netflix is the biggest streaming service by number of subscribers. 

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Netflix, for years, was notoriously tight-lipped about viewership. But after a few years of dropping stats for some of its programming, Netflix launched a website in mid-November posting charts of its most popular shows and movies from the past week, as well as a global ranking of its all-time most watched titles. 

The charts, which are updated every week and ranked by the total number of hours that subscribers spent watching them, represent an unprecedented trove of data about what's popular on Netflix. The site details the most popular titles in the last week not only globally, but also for more than 90 countries. And it's meant to help subscribers like you get a better sense of the biggest hits on the world's largest subscription streaming service, in the hopes you'll discover something new to watch. 

The company updates its weekly "Top 10 on Netflix" every Tuesday, based on hours viewed from Monday through Sunday the previous week for original and licensed titles. Netflix's rankings are broken down into top 10 charts for films in English, TV in English, films in non-English languages and TV in non-English languages.

A ranking of all-time most watched titles also lives on the site, detailing shows that have the most viewing hours in their first 28 days of release. Netflix also has these split into films in English, TV in English, films in non-English languages and TV in non-English languages -- but for our charts below, we don't differentiate between languages. 

If a new season releases its episodes in two parts on different dates, Netflix counts the watch time of the first volume's episodes for their first 28 days, then it counts the watch time of the second volume's episodes for their first 28 days. These all-time rankings are also updated every Tuesday, whenever any programs make it into the charts during the week prior. 

Why the all-time rankings don't include Outer Banks, Murdaugh Murders, The Strays or You (yet) 

Shows and movies need sustained popularity in many countries to crack into the all-time most watched charts. That means you can see titles with "Top 10" badges in Netflix's app for days, but they still may not be generating enough hours of viewing to make the all-time rankings. 

For example, the first half of You's fourth season came out Feb. 9. The show, a popular psychological thriller about a serial killer, generated 183.9 million hours of viewing since then. And each subsequent season of the show has grown in popularity. But because this season is being released in two parts and the second half of the fourth season won't be released March 9, the final tally for You's full viewership won't be clear until early April.

Meanwhile, teen mystery hit Outer Banks returned on Thursday with its third season and racked up 155 million watch hours in just four days. And true-crime limited series Murdaugh Murders and British horror-thriller film The Strays, both released Wednesday, have been building search interest on Google. 

But TV shows need to eclipse half a billion hours to make it onto the all-time list, and films need more than 200 million. Even the most popular shows and movies need multiple weeks and enduring attention to accumulate enough. 

Netflix's most watched TV shows, ranked

The following are Netflix's most watched series, based on Netflix's own reporting of total hours viewed in the first 28 days of each title's release. Again, if a new season releases its episodes in two volumes on different dates, Netflix counts the watch time of the first volume's episodes for their first 28 days, then it counts the watch time of the second volume's episodes for their first 28 days. 

Any changes in the rankings from the previous week are in bold text. 

  1. Squid Game (season 1), a Korean survival thriller -- 1.65 billion hours.
  2. Stranger Things (season 4), a retro sci-fi series -- 1.35 billion hours. 
  3. Wednesday, a coming-of-age supernatural dark comedy -- 1.24 billion hours
  4. Dahmer, a true-crime serial killer series -- 856.2 million hours.
  5. Money Heist (part 5), a Spanish-language thriller -- 792.2 million hours. 
  6. Bridgerton (season 2), a period romance -- 656.3 million hours.  
  7. Bridgerton (season 1) -- 625.5 million hours.
  8. Money Heist (part 4) -- 619 million hours.
  9. Stranger Things (season 3), a retro sci-fi series -- 582.1 million hours.
  10. Lucifer (season 5), a fantasy police procedural -- 569.5 million hours. 
  11. All of Us Are Dead, a Korean zombie thriller taking place in a high school -- 560.8 million hours.
  12. The Witcher (season 1), a fantasy show -- 541 million hours.
  13. Inventing Anna, a true-crime limited series about a fake socialite -- 511.9 million hours
  14. Ginny & Georgia (season 2), a mother-daughter dramedy -- 504.8 million hours. 

Former top-ranking shows that have been bumped out of Netflix's official all-time charts: 

  • 13 Reasons Why (season 2), a controversial teen drama -- 496.1 million hours.
  • Ozark (season 4), a crime drama series -- 491.1 million hours.
  • The Witcher (season 2) -- 484.3 million hours.
  • 13 Reasons Why (season 1) -- 475.6 million hours
  • Maid, a limited series about a young mother fleeing abuse -- 469.1 million hours.
  • You (season 3), a psychological thriller -- 467.8 million hours.
  • You (season 2) -- 457.4 million hours.
  • Stranger Things (season 2) -- 427.4 million hours.
  • Money Heist (part 3) -- 426.4 million hours.
  • Sex Education (season 3), a British teen dramedy -- 419 million hours.
  • Ginny & Georgia (season 1), a dramedy about a young mom and kids -- 381 million hours.
  • Extraordinary Attorney Woo (season 1), a South Korean legal drama -- 402.5 million hours. 
  • Café con Aroma de Mujer (season 1), a Colombian telenovela -- 326.9 million hours. 
  • Lupin (part 1), a French heist show -- 316.8 million hours.
  • Elite (season 3), a Spanish teen drama -- 275.3 million hours.
  • Who Killed Sara? (season 1), a Mexican mystery thriller -- 266.4 million hours. 
  • Elite (season 4) -- 257.1 million hours.
  • The Queen of Flow (season 2), a musical Colombian telenovela -- 230.3 million hours.
  • Lupin (part 2) -- 214.1 million hours.
  • Dark Desire (season 1), a Mexican dramatic thriller -- 213 million hours.

Netflix's most watched movies, ranked

The following are Netflix's most watched movies, based on Netflix's own reporting of total hours viewed in the first 28 days of each titles' release. Any changes are in bold text. 

  1. Red Notice, an action movie starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds -- 364 million hours.
  2. Don't Look Up, a dark comedy with a star-packed cast -- 359.8 million hours. 
  3. Bird Box, a post-apocalyptic movie starring Sandra Bullock -- 282 million hours.
  4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, a whodunit sequel -- 279.7 million hours. 
  5. The Gray Man, a CIA action thriller -- 253.9 million hours.
  6. The Adam Project, a sci-fi adventure comedy -- 233.2 million hours.
  7. Extraction, an action movie starring Chris Hemsworth -- 231.3 million hours.
  8. Purple Hearts, a romantic drama about a musician marrying a Marine -- 228.7 million hours. 
  9. The Unforgivable, a drama about a woman rebuilding her life after prison -- 214.7 million hours.
  10. The Irishman, a period Mafia epic directed by Martin Scorsese -- 214.6 million hours.

Former top-ranking movies that have been bumped out of Netflix's official all-time charts:

  • The Kissing Booth 2, a teen rom-com sequel -- 209.3 million hours.
  • 6 Underground, a Michael Bay explosion-fest starring Ryan Reynolds -- 205.5 million hours.
  • Spenser Confidential, an action-comedy starring Mark Wahlberg -- 197.3 million hours.
  • Enola Holmes, a period detective film -- 189.9 million hours.
  • Army of the Dead, a heist set in a zombie apocalypse -- 187 million hours.
  • The Old Guard, an action-thriller starring Charlize Theron -- 186 million hours.
  • Murder Mystery, a comedy starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston -- 170 million hours.

Netflix appears to have never released a non-English-language film that generated enough viewing hours to make it into an overall top-watched ranking. But additional widely watched non-English language movies on Netflix have included:

  • Troll, a Norwegian monster movie -- 155.6 million hours. 
  • Blood Red Sky, a German/British action horror film set during a plane hijacking -- 110.5 million hours.
  • The Platform, a Spanish social commentary wrapped in a horror film -- 108.1 million hours.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front, a German war drama -- 101.4 million hours. 
  • Black Crab, a Swedish apocalyptic war thriller starring Noomi Rapace -- 94.1 million hours. 
  • Through My Window, a Spanish teen romance -- 92.4 million hours. 
  • The Takedown, a French cop comedy -- 78.6 million hours.
  • Below Zero, a Spanish action thriller about a breakout from a prison transport vehicle -- 78.3 million hours.
  • My Name is Vendetta, an Italian crime/action film -- 68.7 million hours. 
  • Loving Adults, a Danish thriller about an extramarital affair -- 67.3 million hours.

Former top-ranking non-English movies that have been bumped out of the non-English top 10 include: 

  • Rogue City, a French action thriller about an unorthodox team of cops -- 66.6 million hours.
  • Carter, a South Korean action thriller about a man who wakes up with no memories and a voice in his ear -- 65.4 million hours
  • The Forgotten Battle, a Dutch World War II film -- 60.9 million hours.
  • Restless, a French action thriller -- 59.1 million hours.
  • Lost Bullet, like a Fast & Furious movie but French -- 58.3 million hours
  • Spoiled Brats, a French comedy about rich siblings tricked into earning their own living -- 56.9 million hours.
  • #Alive, a South Korean movie about a gamer's bid to survive the zombie apocalypse -- 54.6 million hours.
  • Space Sweepers, a South Korean space western with a weaponized child-android -- 53.3 million hours
  • The Last Mercenary, a French action movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme -- 52.1 million hours.
  • Just Another Christmas, a Brazilian Christmas comedy -- 48 million hours.