Netflix DVD, Scorsese and I | ET REALITY


In 2020 and 2021, my subscription took on a new role: helping me avoid going crazy during the more cloistered months of the pandemic lockdown. The DVD service was particularly helpful when I decided to embark on a career-spanning marathon of all of Martin Scorsese’s films. Starting with “Who’s That Knocking at My Door,” I went through the highs (“Goodfellas,” sure, but I’m in on “The Age of Innocence”) and the lows (“Boxcar Bertha,” not without its charms). .

As the DVD operation wound down and shipped its final discs in September, I asked Netflix for some statistics to better understand how viewers used it over its 25-year run, and whether the numbers, distilled from 5.2 billion discs sent since 1998, could illuminate my own experience.

Most popular movie disc in 50 states in 2022-23

Washington, DC, was the exception, with ‘Tár’.

What I found sometimes followed my own vision and sometimes it didn’t. The most rented movie overall was “The Blind Side” (never watched it) and the most rented TV show was “Dexter” (a video store I rented for myself in 2010). Other times, the data was just plain strange: During its last year of service, Tom Cruise’s box office juggernaut, “Top Gun: Maverick,” was the No. 1 rental movie in every state, but in Washington, D.C., the winner was: inexplicably, “Tár”, the altruistic classical music drama with Cate Blanchett. (I saw both. Watching Cruise’s Maverick take a younger pilot under his wing in “Top Gun,” I was reminded of a famous Cruise being mentored by Paul Newman in Scorsese’s #10 marathon movie “The Color of Money.” .)

The outlier of “Tár” speaks to one of the beautiful aspects of the Netflix DVD. You weren’t bombarded with what was popular or trendy, or what Netflix wanted to be popular or trendy. You followed your own curiosity.

Most rented actor

Followed by Matt Damon and Liam Neeson.

By default, my Scorsese marathon probably makes his longtime collaborator Robert De Niro the actor whose movies I rented the most. (do not sleep De Niro’s deliciously unhinged performance in “The King of Comedy”). However, for all you Netflix DVD users out there, De Niro is in a healthy but comparatively modest fifth place.

Most RENTED Actress

44.2 million records rented. Meryl Streep came in second, with 42.4 million.

What’s up my The most hired actress? At first I thought Scorsese didn’t have enough recurring actresses to come up with a name (that’s up to him!), but then I remembered that his lovely mother, Catherine, made brief appearances in many of his films before her death in 1997. So She is probably my most hired actress.

Most hired director

His most popular film: ‘Gran Torino’ (2008).

In the director category, Eastwood was followed by Steven Spielberg. And here Catherine Scorsese has something to brag about: her son Marty was the third most hired filmmaker. (Of Scorsese’s films, “The Departed” was the most rented. It was also the most popular film starring Matt Damon or Mark Wahlberg.)

Album titles available on Netflix Peak

US Netflix streaming titles according to external estimates

The numbers here point to a key aspect of Netflix’s DVD service: unlike those of its streaming counterparts (current Netflix, as well as Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+, and the like), Netflix’s library was not limited to movies and Television programs to which he had rights. (Netflix declined to specify how many productions it was currently streaming, beyond saying the number was in the thousands.)

In this way, the DVD service acted more like a crowded, old-school video store. You know the type: gloomy lighting, out-of-print foreign films stuck behind a cardboard cutout of Catwoman.

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