‘The Glass Onion’ is Netflix’s third-biggest movie debut over two weeks

While I’m obviously interested in the business of filmmaking and how certain films become profitable, I’m smart enough to admit that I have no idea how the business model worked for Rian Johnson and Knives Out: The Glass Onion. The Glass Onion probably should have gotten a wide theatrical release for months before it went to Netflix. The Glass Onion probably would have made a decent-sized box office, just because it’s fun and a great mystery and audiences have been hungry for fun movies for adults. Then again, I’m grateful that Netflix committed to streaming it just before Christmas. It was like a great Christmas gift for Netflix subscribers. Everyone agreed! Everyone watched it and probably re-watched it a few times. The Glass Onion is now Netflix’s third most-watched film in its ten-day debut.

In its second week on the Top 10, Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion” became Netflix’s third most watched film in hours viewed in its first 10 days. During the Dec. 26-Jan. 1 viewing window, the “Knives Out” sequel film raked in 127 million hours watched.

After a successful Christmas debut on the streamer which drew in 82.1 million hours viewed, the movie joins the likes of “Red Notice” and “Don’t Look Up” with 209.4 million hours. It remains the No. 1 English-language film on the Top 10 rankings and has now reached No. 10 on the overall Most Popular Films list.

On the TV side, “Wednesday” continues to lead the Top 10 rankings for the sixth consecutive week with 103.96 million hours watched, breaking another record for the Jenna Ortega-led series. “Wednesday” also broke the record for most hours viewed in a single week with 341.2 million when it debuted, then reset that record with 411.3 million hours the following week.

Season 3 of “Emily in Paris” sat just below at No. 2. Following its Dec. 21 premiere, the series garnered 95.3 million hours viewed – a slight drop from the opening week’s 117.6 million hours watched but still a solid showing for the heavyweight dramedy. It’s also worth noting that “Emily in Paris” Seasons 1 and 2 rejoined the list at No. 8 and 7 with 14.55 million and 15.2 million hours viewed as fans rewatch or experience it for the first time.

In third place, “The Witcher: Blood Origin” picked up 64.5 million hours watched in its first full week of availability. The limited series, which serves as a prequel to the events of “The Witcher,” follows seven outcasts in an Elven world join forces in a quest against an all-powerful empire. The limited series “Treason” showed a strong premiere week. In its first week of availability, the British drama opened at No. 4 on the list with 56.06 million hours watched. Following just below is “The Recruit” with 43.36 million hours viewed. It continues to stay ahead of the royal documentary “Harry & Meghan.” In it’s fourth week on the Top 10 list, the limited series scored 22.5 milllion hours watched.

[From Variety]

I lowkey believe the sustained interest in and love for Wednesday is a much bigger story than The Glass Onion’s success. Both can be true though – Netflix gambled on The Glass Onion’s release and it paid off to some extent (although clearly not with a box office)… AND Wednesday has the kind of staying power and watchability that every streamer dreams of. Wednesday hit that sweet spot of being immensely enjoyable for 13-year-olds AND 53-year-olds. The Glass Onion feels more like “here’s a fun movie for grown-ups.” I’m also not exactly surprised by the drop in viewership for Netflix’s Harry & Meghan, although it should be said, people still watched 22.5 MILLION hours of a show which has been out for a month. The Windsors would kill for that kind of viewership for literally anything they do.

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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70 Responses to “‘The Glass Onion’ is Netflix’s third-biggest movie debut over two weeks”

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  1. whatever says:

    I actually watched both Wednesday and Glass Onion with my twelve year olds over their winter break. We all really enjoyed both. It was so great to have so much fun stuff to watch with them.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I also think Wednesday is benefiting from word of mouth. We haven’t watched it yet, but we probably will at some point this month just because there is so much hype over it. I was never opposed to watching it, it just wasn’t high on my list but as it keeps staying popular (and as I’ve seen that dance a thousand times now lol) I’m bumping it up.

    We really enjoyed Glass Onion. It was a fun murder mystery. Daniel Craig’s accent is…..well, its unique, but I think that’s part of the fun of it. Kate Hudson’s outfits were fun, etc. I love a murder mystery set in an isolated setting like that (currently reading One by One by Ruth Ware, lol.) We did end up watching it twice because we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I loved Wednesday – it was quirky and a fun plot. Hopefully they do a 2nd season.

      Haven’t seen Glass Onion yet – its on my list but I loved the first one. I remember all the fuss over Chris Evans and his aran sweater for the first one LOL.

      • Becks1 says:

        The second one does suffer from a lack of Chris Evans, lol.

        We also loved the first one so went into the second one with pretty low expectations (figuring the sequel is never as good), which I think helped a lot.

    • L84Tea says:

      That’s what we did this year on NYE, we finally watched Wednesday. It was so much fun!

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here, haven’t watched Wednesday yet but everyone is telling me to!
      I watched the Glass Onion and enjoyed it, fun performances, good mystery, but I just didn’t like how it was filmed, Maybe our TV was in sport mode or something, but it just looked weird in spots.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’m just sorry you saw the dance before watching Wednesday. It was such a delightful surprise when she started dancing. Now you won’t be surprised but will be waiting for it.

  3. sparrow says:

    I thought the one in the house was brilliant; the one on the island with the Musk-a-like not so great. Sorry, I am so knackered that I can’t remember the titles. I loved the bit in the island one where Daniel Craig’s character walks thru the pool in a striped top and trunks. Such a piss take of his near naked Bond sea scene. I was wondering throughout what American posters thought of his accent?

    • FancyPants says:

      As someone born and raised in Alabama, I hate his accent. Is it some kind of right of passage for a British actor’s career to do a southern drawl? At least in this scenario the twang isn’t being used to indicate the character is stupid, which is usually the case on film. The more I think about “Glass Onion,” the less I like it. There was no mystery- the culprit was so obvious, and the hackneyed trope they used for the “twist” kinda makes me angry.

      • sparrow says:

        Thank you, fancypants. My instinct was that the accent could be ‘off’ because it was difficult for me to understand at times and didn’t seem to flow comfortably. It seemed to roll around in his mouth and be really indistinct; almost as if he thought, “it’s a drawl, so I’m just going to drool”. I really don’t know why Brit actors are so attracted to it because it seems so difficult to pull off.

        I watched the house one first. My initial reaction was, oh god, they’re using that accent to make the character look stereotypically Southern stupid or clever/stupid like Colombo. I was shocked Craig was attempting it to be honest, then I thought he must be really good because this is Daniel Craig and it’s just me with the problem. For me, it’s similar to people trying to do English aristocratic. Or Cockney. It can be really bad.

        The two films were like an upmarket version of a series we have here called Midsomer Murders, which call for ridiculous suspensions of belief but are inoffensive and fun if you’re in the mood on a Sunday night. The house one made me smile. The island one was basic IMO.

      • Becks1 says:

        Midsomer Murders is amazing and I refuse to believe that I have to suspend disbelief just because the last episode was about domino rivalry, a drag show, online trolling, and a mother poisoning her son! And only one of those was sort of related to the murderer’s motivations!

        (Yes I have Acorn TV Just so I can watch Midsomer. I’m so excited the new season is out lol.)

      • Zazzoo says:

        Was the accent not supposed to be Foghorn Leghorn?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Love Midsomer Murders. I have been watching for 5-6 years. I also subscribed to AcornTV just to have access to ALL episodes of Midsomer Murders.

        Murdoch Mysteries is another good show available through AcornTV.

    • Becks1 says:

      It’s SUCH a bad accent. I kind of think that’s part of the point of it though, right? It has to be.

      • North of Boston says:

        I think it’s absolutely part of the point, like the *character* puts it on as part of his unique persona/personal style – the seersucker, the old-timey-adjacent bathing suit, the awk shucks act, the overdone accent, etc – not that the actor is trying and failing to accurately do a regional American accent.

        That doesn’t mean people can’t take issue with it. But it’s purposefully not a serious attempt to do an authentic accent as far as I can tell.

      • Josephine says:

        That was my thought, too. He’s NOT trying to nail the accent. My guess is that Craig definitely could. I think it’s supposed to be part of the joke.

      • Frippery says:

        It’s def a bit of a put on so that people in universe will be lulled into a false sense of security around Benoit. Like Columbo with his bumbling niceties and perceived incompetence until he suddenly goes, “Ohhhhh, just one more thing.”

        It’s also different from Craig’s southern accent in the Nascar robbery movie (the name escapes me right now), which was equally terrible-on-purpose.

      • FilmTurtle says:

        Blanc has a line at some point where he actually says, “I’ll pour on the Southern hokum” to disarm the other party guests and make them relax around him.

      • L84Tea says:

        I agree, it’s part of the joke. Just like Hercule Poirot was often initially mistaken for an odd, simple little man before they figured out his brilliance. It’s all part of his own “golly gee” act.

      • Cas says:

        Absolutely! It’s part of the joke

    • Kelly says:

      I read that the director was originally going to have him do a different, ridiculous accent every movie with no explanation whatsoever, aka the moving hump in Young Frankenstein. I guess they decided that the foghorn leghorn was the most silly they were going to find and stuck with it.

      But yeah, southern accents are hard for most actors I think. Even ones that have grown up in the south, but in a city like Nashville or Atlanta have trouble doing a convincing southern accent, and that’s leaving out that you can have a huge difference in say, a north Georgia mountain accent, a middle georgia, a coastal, and a South Georgia accent. I remember watching the first knives out movie and thinking how funny it was they decided to go with that overblown stereotypical southern accent instead of trying to nail something realistic.

    • jess says:

      Wasn’t he attempting an upper-class New Orleans accent which is the most unique accent in the United States (imo). It’s extremely difficult to replicate no matter how much an experienced actor you are. You just end up sounding ridiculous most of the time.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Jess – I thought the same thing; Craig was doing an upper-class New Orleans accent.

      • Ripley says:

        I live in New Orleans (not from here though) and I don’t hear upper-class NO accent. My friend, who is a speech language pathologist and from New Orleans, HATED his accent with a passion. She tolerated it through Knives Out, but said she had to turn off The Glass Onion. I was chatting about how much I loved the movie.

  4. SAS says:

    The Elon Musk and Andrew Tate characters were a bit too close to home for me to totally find it fun and light but it was a really well timed release from Netflix, I just wanted to watch garbage between Xmas and NY. I can’t tell if the first film was really any better or just benefited from low expectations and I can’t bring myself to rewatch it knowing about the running vomiting gag.

    Loved Wednesday (I think that also benefited from fairly low expectations, it really is high up on well-done remakes for me). Currently watching Alice in Borderland because I’m a slut for what’s trending lol.

  5. Eurydice says:

    I have to say that Wednesday bored me a little. It’s pleasant and looks good and Jenna Ortega does a great job, but the plot is so much like other children’s stories I’ve seen over the years. I’ll go back to it, but it’s not something that grabs my imagination. The Glass Onion was fun.

    • Nivz says:

      @Eurydice ITA regarding Wednesday. It was exactly like Sabrina/Riverdale/Harry Potter/what have you. There was very little in it that was fresh, and one could guess the ending from episode 2. I don’t get the hype. Jenna Ortega is wonderful though. I would watch her in anything.

  6. TikiChica says:

    It was such fun! Over the holidays we watched this and White Lotus 2.

  7. Emily_C says:

    I love Glass Onion.

    Wednesday goes against the spirit of the Addams Family and I am not interested in anything Tim Burton does anymore anyway.

  8. Hellohello says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here but I hated The Glass Onion. It really dragged, felt heavy handed, and the writing was just boring. Nothing like Knives Out.

    • Jo says:

      You’re not alone. I hated it, the actors did nothing for me – bad casting – (except for Monae) and silly as can be. There was absolutely no mystery.

    • Kirsten says:

      I also did not like it. Daniel Craig is great, but that character is better as a supporting character, like in Knives Out; there was too much focus on him in this movie.

    • Normades says:

      I thought it was fun but not as great as the hype and my husband low key hated it.

    • KASalvy says:

      I’m baffled by how many people loved this movie too – the plot dragged, storyline wasn’t great, the “twist” spoiled the shock of the reveal. The only reason why I had to watch it twice is because I fell asleep trying to watch it the first time.

      The cameos really cheapened the film – I stopped counting them after Ethan Hawke popped up.

      Also while Monae is great and I know several academy members, she’s not on any shortlist for a nomination. That’s her PR team at work

    • Case says:

      You’re not alone! I felt like I kept waiting for the mystery to begin, only to realize at the end they were just going to keep telling us everything without providing the chance to figure it out ourselves. I found it to be so poorly structured and other than Monae and Craig, poorly acted. There were so many moments that they clearly wanted to be funny that just weren’t.

      It was one of the last movies I watched last year, and definitely one of the worst, too.

    • Jazz Hands says:

      Add me to the minority. I didn’t find it very entertaining, the pace was too slow for most of the movie, and the characters were mostly unlikable. Janelle Monae was lovely to watch though.

    • L84Tea says:

      I enjoyed Glass Onion, but I much preferred Knives Out. It had more of that cozy mystery feel to it.

    • lucy2 says:

      I enjoyed it but prefer Knives Out. I liked the mystery, Janelle was great, but Kate Hudson grated on my nerves, and it felt kind of overblown, in that ridiculous “house” with all the weird glass everywhere.

  9. Jane says:

    I loved Glass Onion, the setting was glorious and Daniel Craig is a favourite of mine, especially as Benoit Blanc. The Musk character was hilarious, Kate Hudson didn’t annoy me for once, but Janelle Monae’s performance is *chef’s kiss*. I then re-watched Knives Out and apart from Daniel Craig and Jamie Lee Curtis it has nothing on Glass Onion.

    Wednesday keeps popping up on my son’s tiktok but he’s not expressed any interest in it. I think now we are back in our regular routine of work / school etc we won’t have time.

  10. OldLady says:

    I watched and enjoyed Wednesday and Glass Onion but I’m mad with Netfilx for cancelling 1899. Why bother investing in programmes that are designed to take more than 1 series to tell their story and then cancel them?
    1899’s creators previously made Dark which is a fantastic show told elegantly over 3 series. People are still finding Dark now and loving it. 1899 will now never complete its story and never build a following and recognition. People won’t bother starting it because its incomplete.

    • Jo says:

      What’s up with the cancellation of 1899?! I didn’t get it. It was not my favourite kind of series it it drew a lot of people in and I agree that after these instant hits fade you need something to go back to.
      It must have been expensive to make, I’m assuming and they probably chose the Knives Out sequels over it. Which I think is a mistake because the series was watched massively on the tales of the first one. Glass Onion is not as good and I am sure that much less people will watch a third one. But then again what do I know?

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah that was on my “to watch” list but now that I know its done, I’m not going to bother starting.

    • Kirsten says:

      I am SO mad about them cancelling 1899. It’s unique, has such a diverse and talented cast, and had great viewership numbers. It also had a three-season plan, like Dark, so it’s not even a lengthy commitment from Netflix. I don’t get their choices at all.

    • Krista says:

      Ah man… I hadn’t heard that it was canceled. I just got done watching the season the other day. It was one of those, I like this but also felt like there weren’t any answers to anything. I was curious to see how it was going to go because the buildup to what was going on was intriguing. The diverse casting was a really unique and pretty awesome thing to see – how so many people come together and start working together, even though there are language barriers. And now… we’ll never know how they even got to be in the situation they are, which is pretty frustrating with how they left the end of the series. Good job, Netflix.

  11. Chantal says:

    I didn’t watch the first Knives Out (someone spoiled the ending for me) but thoroughly enjoyed Glass Onion. Good cast and Hugh Grant being Daniel Craig’s husband was a cute cameo. Kate’s outfits were splendid and she looked great. I’m pleased that there’s talk about possible Oscar buzz for Janelle Monae. She has been great in the movies I’ve seen her in, esp Hidden Figures. Hopefully she hasn’t totally given up her music career but wish her continued success with the acting career.

    I watched several episodes of Wednesday and liked it for the most part. Jenna is great. Catherine Zeta Jones is ok as Morticia, but I think Luis Guzman is a terrible Gomez. I’ve liked him in everything else I’ve seen him in but he and CZJ have zero chemistry between them and it’s glaringly obvious.

    Treason looks interesting and is next on my list to watch.

    • North of Boston says:

      Sorry someone spoiled Knives out for you, but sad to see you spoil a what was a “reveal” from Glass Onion in your post.

      • Chantal says:

        @North of Boston I don’t know why its a surprise or spoiler when both Hugh and Daniel Craig gave interviews about it and its all over SM…

      • Becks1 says:

        I don’t see where she revealed anything? The Hugh grant thing is all over social media.

  12. Jo says:

    I am befuddled by the positive reviews and opinions about Glass Onion. The characters were flat and the socio-political critique on the nose and already a bit stale. Also, we’re supposed to keep guessing until the end and not have the plot revealed to us as it unfolds. This was not a mystery but a bad social critique with very little character work and actors who are not super talented with the exception of Monae. You can see Craig is having fun but I find his character insufferable.

    • Case says:

      Jo, I so agree with you. I thought it was an out-and-out bad movie. I’m shocked it’s being so well received. I was hugely disappointed after the first movie was so good.

    • Therese says:

      Thanks for saying that Jo. I was astonished at how bad this movie was. Horrible acting, based on horrible writing and directing. And I really like Daniel Craig, but listen, this is just trash moviemaking. And I have an issue with the terrible accent. I have recently become aware that British actors always go for the Southern accent, badly, and I begin to feel like it is making fun. I have seen two clips of Emily Blunt “imitating” a Southern accent. I begin to take umbrage; why not go for another locale.

      I’d rather go to some of my old favorites on Amazon of Agatha Christie redos and Daphne du Murier: The Scapegoat, Death comes to Pemberly, there’s also the Escape Artist, which is excellent, but some parts I have to skip. I recommend these if you like whodunits

  13. ML says:

    Knives Out, Wednesday, Glass Onion…we enjoyed them all.
    Glass is see-through: I think the mystery was supposed to be more obvious. Personally, I had no issue with that, because it didn’t feel as though it was done in a brain dead way to me.

  14. Case says:

    I absolutely loved Wednesday. It was fun and well-done, and Jenna Ortega is a delight.

    But I truly *hated* Glass Onion. Obnoxious chronically online script that will age like milk, some really weak performances, a murder mystery that they wanted us to believe was stupid and transparent on purpose (lol?), a plot filled with “showing not telling” that left no room to have fun with the mystery as an audience member, and too many jokes that didn’t land. I thought it was such a major downgrade from the sharpness of the first Knives Out. Shockingly bad. And I was so looking forward to it!

    • JanetDR says:

      We loved Wednesday!
      We started watching Glass Onion last night and I had to wake up Mr. R. 3 or 4 times before we gave it up. We’ll finish it, but halfway through and so far, disappointing.

      • JanetDR says:

        The second half was much better! I still didn’t think it was as good as Knives Out. Agree with @TwinFalls on it improving after the twist.

    • Twin Falls says:

      I also love Wednesday.

      Glass Onion had the benefit of being released over break when crappy winter weather kept a lot of us in more than expected. The first half of the movie had such a Don’t Look Up feel that I didn’t really start to like the movie until the Janelle Monae twist happened. Then it was fun for that chemistry.

  15. Flowerlake says:

    Haven’t seen the Tumblr crowd this enthusiastic about a Western movie in a long time.

    The ending especially was great fun too and like the digs at shady rich men.

  16. Jo says:

    Loved Wednesday too. The whole family (ages 13 to 49 and everything in between) was mesmerized by it, it was such a good atmosphere and the characters were funny / intriguing / unexpected.

  17. Elsa says:

    I loved Wednesday and The Glass Onion. I thought the cameo’s were hysterical. Hugh Grant making sourdough during Covid was priceless.

  18. Torttu says:

    The Glass Onion is absolutely terrible. Daniel Craig is miscast. I can’t believe this crap was even made. It’s one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

  19. phaedra7 says:

    Although I miss Craig as 007, his role in this movie franchise is interesting and on point. One other role where he played a Southerner was very hilarious and showed his range as an actor. I also like the narrative of this mini-series’ episodes! 👏🏽

  20. sparrow says:

    I don’t know about in America, but Kate Hudson has been talking in the UK about dieting down for the bikini scene by eating mostly ‘how you say cucumbers’.

  21. NEENA ZEE says:

    Enjoyed Glass Onion and Wednesday… but honestly couldn’t get thru Harry & Meghan. I wanted to watch it, since they are more sympathetic than any of the UK-based family members, but it just felt like the same old whine. I was surprised at how annoying and self-enamored they seemed in the first episode.

    • Driver8 says:

      I’m super happy H&M got away from the Windsors, and I hope they do wonderful things with their lives. But the grate on my last nerves.