Spiderhead, Netflix's new star-studded psychological thriller, had a huge opening weekend on the streaming service with more than 35 million hours viewed. But that wasn't enough for it to take first place in Netflix's weekly roundup of its best movies.
Netflix has been publishing a weekly list detailing its most popular TV shows and movies (opens in a new tab) over a seven-day period since November 2021. The list ranks titles by weekly hours watched, i.e. the total number of subscriber hours worldwide. . each title between Monday and Sunday of the previous week, with Netflix sharing four separate charts; two for movies (English and non-English) and two for TV shows (English and non-English).
Spiderhead, which is based on the novel Escape From Spiderhead by George Sanders, stars Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, Maverick's Top Gun: Miles Teller, Birds Of Prey's Jurnee Smollett and Alien: Covenant's Tess Haubrich.
The Netflix film is set in the near future and in a world where convicted criminals are offered the opportunity to volunteer as medical subjects to shorten their sentences.
Hemsworth, who is also a producer, plays Steve Abnesti, the supervisor of the experiment, which consists of giving an inmate a new drug capable of generating feelings of love. The prisoner, Jeff Teller, comes to feel a connection with another prisoner named Rachel, but upon learning of the trial, he begins to question the reality of her emotions. As things progress, Jeff sets out to try to thwart the prison's experiments and save her...
Joseph Kosinski, who is set to surprise us all with his long-awaited spectacular action sequel to Top Gun, directed the film, from the screenplay by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
The film got off to a very respectable start, coming in at number two on the weekly digest, 12 million hours ahead of its next challenger, the animated adventure Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness. But despite Hemsworth and Teller's star power, which still builds on the success of Top Gun: Maverick, there's one man they couldn't beat...
The sandman is coming...
(Image credit: Netflix)
Adam Sandler. Specifically his new sports drama Hustle, which enjoyed a second week at the top of the charts.
Hustle didn't beat Spiderhead as much as Beat, with 57,2 million hours watched, 22 million ahead of the star-studded sci-fi effort. What's even more impressive is Hustle's second week on the platform, last week it had 84,6 million hours of viewing.
The film is a sports drama starring Sandler as Stanley Sugarman, a basketball scout who, after discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player with a rocky past abroad, takes it upon himself to bring the young phenom to the United States. without the approval of the team of him. Against all odds, the pair must work to prove that they both deserve to succeed in the NBA.
Analysis: Is Spiderhead a flop or is Hustle a giant?
The answer is a bit of both.
Hustle has certainly exceeded expectations as the film is now approaching 150 million hours of viewing and charting in the Top 10 in 92 countries.
That's partly thanks to critical acclaim, which is rare for Sandler. The film has a 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating (opens in a new tab), and TechRadar's Jon O'Brien agreed, writing in his review that the film was worth seeing.
Spiderhead, on the other hand, will not have hit the numbers Netflix was hoping for. 35 million hours is a lot, but as an opening weekend it falls far behind Rebel Wilson's comedy Senior Year, which made $62 million in its opening weekend. 100 million, and even a large-scale erotic sequel, 365 Days: This Day, which made almost 78 million.
Although Hustle earned rave reviews, Spiderhead was mixed, earning a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in a new tab). TechRadar's Richard Edwards wasn't convinced, writing that the cast was bad, especially Hemsworth.
35 million hours is respectable, but with Hemsworth, Teller, and an in-demand production team, Netflix would have expected Adam Project-style numbers and a spot in their Top 10 of all time. It won't happen now.
Looking for a new Netflix movie? We've rounded up 30 of the best here.