The Old Guard is already one of Netflix’s most watched original movies less than 10 days after release, with the streaming service projecting that it will reach 72 million member households in the first four weeks. In doing so, The Old Guard director Gina Prince-Bythewood has become the first black female director on Netflix’s top 10 film list.
THE OLD GUARD is breaking records! The Charlize Theron blockbuster is already among the top 10 most popular Netflix films ever — and Gina Prince-Bythewood is the first Black female director on the list.
The film is currently on track to reach 72M households in its first 4 weeks! pic.twitter.com/pM8vOTNa6m
— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) July 18, 2020
“Netflix just called!” Prince-Bythewood wrote in an Instagram post. “The Old Guard is BREAKING RECORDS! [emphasis hers] On track to reach 72M households in its first 4 weeks! Kinda surreal. All kinds of amazing. Thank you for digging Andy & Nile & Booker & Joe & Nicky (and) Quynh as much as I do.”
It’s worth noting that these numbers are provided by Netflix itself and not independently verified. Additionally, Netflix counts watching two minutes of a movie or an episode as a view. But, who here hasn’t stopped watching something after the first few minutes? For what it’s worth, BBC iPlayer and YouTube use the same methodology.
The film has been mostly well-received and holds an 81 percent “fresh” rating and a 70 “generally favourable” score on reviews aggregators Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, respectively. The critics consensus on the former reads: “The Old Guard is occasionally restricted by genre conventions, but Prince-Bythewood brings a sophisticated vision to the superhero genre — and some knockout action sequences led by Charlize Theron.”
Theron stars in the lead as Andy on The Old Guard, alongside KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk) as Nile, Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) as Booker, Marwan Kenzari (Aladdin) as Joe, Luca Marinelli (The Great Beauty) as Nicky, Harry Melling (Harry Potter series) as Merrick, Van Veronica Ngo (Da 5 Bloods) as Quynh, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Copley.
Based on writer Greg Rucka and illustrator Leandro Fernandez’s comic book of the same name, The Old Guard is about a group of immortal warriors with healing abilities who are being hunted by a mysterious group that wishes to exploit their powers. Rucka, who also wrote the script for the Netflix adaptation, has plans for a trilogy, according to Prince-Bythewood.
Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.