The Irishman is a pretty good movie. It is also, at 210 minutes a very long movie, one some people, not me, but some people, might call too long, in fact. (OK, fine, it is me.)
Variety reports that 26.4 million people started watching The Irishman in its first week on Netflix (it started streaming on November 27). But that data only shows viewers who made it through at least 7o percent of the movie—unfortunate, since one might argue the last 30 percent moves the fastest, unlike the 40 minutes or so in the middle that I may or may not have accidentally napped through.
Of course, 26.4 million people is a lot of people, and 70 percent of 210 minutes is a lot of minutes, and the minutes are, by my estimation, very good, despite those aforementioned napping minutes. Netflix expects by the end of the month, about 40 million people will have made it through at least 70 percent of The Irishman, which means a lot of people will have devoted many minutes to watching Al Pacino yell loudly about unions.
Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos says it’s pretty remarkable that so many viewers are sitting down “to watch a three-and-a-half-hour movie,” although as someone who once devoted 12 hours straight to watching British people make pie, I’m slightly less impressed.