The Christmas Chronicles: 20 million watched Kurt Russell as Santa in first week

According to bosses, it would have outsold Guardians of the Galaxy 2 at the box office

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 04 December 2018 11:44
The Christmas Chronicles - trailer

The Christmas film starring Kurt Russell as Santa Clause has become a Netflix blockbuster.

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced that adventure film The Christmas Chronicles was streamed 20 million times in its first week – something which he states has marked a first for Russell.

“Even in his successful career, [Kurt Russell] has never had that many people see one of his movies in the first week ever,” Sarandos said at UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Monday (3 December). “That’s a testimony to what we can bring to the market for storytellers today that we couldn’t have ten years ago.”

When equating The Christmas Chronicles's success to a theatrically-released film, Sarandos pitched its box office takings at a week one gross of $200m, adding: “Even movies that go on to $1 billion don’t typically do that in the first week.“

Business Insider points out that Russell’s previous blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2, made $183m in its first week.

The Christmas Chronicles, Russell follows a pair of siblings whose plan to catch Santa on camera turns into the journey of their lives. Directed by Clay Kaytis (Angry Birds), it divided critics with some branding it “dull” and others calling it “bonkers” and “earnest”.

Netflix is set to enter this year's awards race with Roma, the latest film from Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron. After winning the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival earlier this year, it's been hotly-tipped for recognition alongside contenders A Star Is Born, Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Other films being released on the streaming service this month includes Andy Serkis's Mowgli, DUMPLIN', starring Jennifer Aniston and psychological thriller Bird Box. You can find a full list of everything being added this month here.

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