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Credit: Netflix

Bird Box soars as Netflix’s strongest original movie debut ever

Contributed by
Dec 28, 2018

Netflix has something to crow about with Bird Box, the Sandra Bullock-led survival thriller that’s (literally) about seeing no evil. The red-letter streaming giant revealed today that Bird Box has spread its wings big-time, debuting as the most watched Netflix original movie in the platform’s entire 11-year streaming history.

**SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Bird Box appear below. If you haven’t yet seen it and want to go into the experience with fresh eyes, then now’s not the time to lift your blindfold. Read further at your own peril.**

Though Netflix doesn’t offer viewership numbers often enough to give us much to compare it with, Bird Box’s takeoff flight does appear huge: In its first seven days of release, more than 45 million Netflix accounts — which implies a far greater number of actual people — dared to stare as mom Malorie (Bullock) left the nest and groped her way through danger, with a blindfolded Boy and Girl in tow.

To no one’s surprise, Netflix didn’t hesitate to chirp about the movie’s early success on Twitter.

Bird Box appears to have roundly eclipsed last year’s Bright, Netflix's David Ayer-directed, Will Smith-headlined sci-fi feature, as the most heavily viewed original movie debut on the platform. Nielsen estimated Bright netted 11 million viewers in the first three days of its December 2017 release — an impressive number, but one that doesn’t put it on track to fly as high as Bird Box.

In the movie’s first week, Bird Box viewers already have lit up social media with funny, meme-able reactions to its blindfolded take on escaping evil in the dark. But it looks as though director Susanne Bier and the creative team may also have hidden some fun extra features, the kind of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it background bits designed to ruffle fans’ feathers all over again with repeat viewings.

Take the fun Catfish “crossover” that gives star Nev Schulman and wife Laura Perlongo a Bird Box flyby cameo, of sorts: Schulman revealed via Instagram that yes, he and Perlongo can be spotted in the painting that Bullock is working on in a scene that flashes back to her life before the apocalypse.

Apparently, Netflix fans love easter eggs — as the team behind The Haunting of Hill House series has already exploited to such binge-worthy effect. And it has us wondering: What else is lurking in the background in Bird Box? Watch it again, if you dare, and let us know if you (unlike Malorie with her blindfold) can spot any other fun stuff that's hiding in plain sight.

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