Asteroid Disaster Film ‘Don’t Look Up’ Smashes Netflix Viewing Records

by Maria Hartfield

A recently released disaster comedy starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Jennifer Lawrence is taking Netflix viewers by storm. Don’t Look Up is a satirical film written, produced, and directed by Adam McKay.

The drama follows two scientists played by DiCaprio and Lawrence trying to convince the world of an extinction-level asteroid hurtling towards Earth. The film has turned into a smashing hit overnight. In its second week streaming on Netflix, Don’t Look Up recorded 152,290,000 hours streamed over one week from Dec. 27 thru Jan. 2. This puts the comedy at the top of its class of globally viewed English-language films.

In addition to DiCaprio and Lawrence, Don’t Look Up also stars Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, and Timothée Chalamet just to name a few. The film debuted in theaters on Dec. 10 before being available on Netflix two weeks later.

In just 48 hours of being on Netflix, the motion picture logged a total of 111,030,000 hours viewed.

Don’t Look Up Director Responds to the Film’s Success

“I’m straight-up flabbergasted by this,” McKay tweeted in response to the news.

Coming in second place for the week ending Jan. 2 is The Unforgivable starring Sandra Bullock, which hit 21.3 million hours viewed. Additionally, The Lost Daughter marking Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut came in third registering an impressive 18.3 million hours.

“The whole movie’s trying to just process basically the question of what the eff is going on in reality,” said McKay in a recent interview with Variety. As an extremely life-threatening asteroid makes its way towards Earth, Dicaprio and Lawrence find themselves arguing with media personalities and politicians to take action before it’s too late.

Even with high viewership, Don’t Look Up has received mixed reviews from film critics.

Variety’s Peter Debruge wrote, “Shrill and self-righteous though it can be, this starry comedy is McKay’s way of raising the alarm on global warming, an issue that DiCaprio and no less a figure than ex-veep Al Gore have struggled to turn into compelling cinema.”

McKay took to Twitter in response to the film’s many reviews.

“Loving all the heated debate about our movie. But if you don’t have at least a small ember of anxiety about the climate collapsing (or the US teetering) I’m not sure Don’t Look Up makes any sense. It’s like a robot viewing a love story. ‘WHy ArE thEir FacEs so cLoSe ToGether?’”

David Sirota who shares the story credit with Adam McKay also weighed in on reactions to the film.

“A climate movie is the #1 most popular film on the world’s largest streaming platform. This is an enormous win. If you can’t at least acknowledge that, then it’s a safe bet that you’re a character in that film.”