Nielsen Streaming Ratings: Netflix’s $100 Million Bet on Sony’s ‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’ Pays Off

The Mitchells vs. The Machines
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

The debut of Sony’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines captured 853 million viewing minutes on Netflix making the animated feature the most watched program on the major U.S. SVOD services during the week of May 3 -May 9, according to Nielsen. 

The animated family film from producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller was originally scheduled to be theatrically released by Sony Pictures. But for the usual COVID-related reasons, the studio sold the movie to Netflix in January 2021 for a reported $100 million. 

Nielsen weekly rankings - May 3-9

Nielsen weekly SVOD rankings for May 3-9 (Image credit: Nielsen)

Focused an everyday family’s struggle to relate with each other while technology rises all around them, The Mitchells vs. The Machines premiered on Netflix on April 30. In its first three days on the streaming service, the film garnered 516 million viewing minutes. That was good enough for the No. 9 spot in Nielsen’s rankings for the week of April 26 - May 2.

May 3-9 marks only the second week in which an animated film has taken the No. 1 spot since Nielsen started ranking shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus back in September. 

Pixar’s Soul, which debuted on Christmas Day last year, generated 1.7 billion combined minutes on Disney Plus. 

After a one-week hiatus, SVOD programs on the four top U.S. SVOD services were once again in a viewing slump during the week ending May 9, with no series or film surpassing 1 billion viewing minutes.

Nielsen weekly rankings - original series May 3-9

Original series (Image credit: Nielsen)

After each drawing over 1 billion viewing minutes during the week ending May 2, both Netflix’s Shadow and Bone and Hulu’s The Handmaid's Tale took a hit during the first full week of May. 

Shadow and Bone, which premiered April 23, captured 555 million minutes of viewing during the week ending May 9, down 637 million viewing minutes week over week.

Meanwhile, after releasing the first three season-four episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 28, Hulu unveiled just one episode—titled “Milk”—during the week ending May 9. The dystopian series dropped to the No. 5 spot on the overall chart with its 40 episodes generating 690 million viewing minutes. That’s down 349 million viewing minutes week to week.

According to Nielsen, females made up approximately two-thirds of the show’s viewership. Despite dropping three spots on Nielsen’s overall chart, The Handmaid’s Tale remained at the No. 2 on Nielsen’s sub ranking of original series on the major SVOD services.

Nielsen weekly rankings - movies may 3-9

Movies (Image credit: Nielsen)

Grey’s Anatomy took the No. 2 spot on Nielsen’s master SVOD ranker and the No. 1 spot on the acquired list. Netflix’s off-network run of ABC’s 370-episode medical drama tallied 733 million U.S. viewing minutes. Netflix streaming of yet another off-network drama, CBS' NCIS, took the No. 3 spot on the overall chart. The police procedural’s 353 episodes licensed by Netflix garnered 721 million minutes of viewing.

Netflix original Jupiter’s Legacy was the only new series to make Nielsen’s master chart during the first full week of May. Released on May 7, the eight-episode series tallied 696 million viewing minutes in just three days on Netflix. Based on the comic books by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, Jupiter’s Legacy took the No. 4 spot on the master ranker and No. 1 on the original’s ranker.

Nielsen weekly rankings - acquired series May 3-9

Acquired series (Image credit: Nielsen)

Previous Weekly Rankings:

April 26 - May 2: Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ Edges Hulu’s ‘Handmade’s Tale' in Rebound Week for the Streaming Biz

April 19-25: Netflix’s ‘NCIS’ Off-net Run Wins Another ‘Easttown and Down' Week for the U.S. SVOD Biz

April 12-18: Disney Plus’ ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Builds to 855 Million Streaming Minutes and a No. 1 Finish

April 5-11: Give Netflix's 'Thunder Force' Five for Winning the Week of April 5-11

March 29 - April 4: Netflix’s ‘The Irregulars’ Tops the Easter Week Charts

March 22-28: - 'Falcon and Winter Soldier' Tops SVOD Originals

March 15-21: - 'Grey's Anatomy' Re-Runs Top SVOD Ranker

March 8-14: - ‘The Crown’ Got Royal Gains from Meghan’s Big Oprah Interview

March 1-7: - Amazon Tops the Charts for the First Time with ‘Coming 2 America’

Feb 22-28: - Netflix’s 'Ginny & Georgia' Leads the SVOD Biz