Leave The World Behind was Netflix’s most-watched movie in 2023’s final six months, but it was nearly beaten by a far worse film

Netflix has unveiled just how popular its biggest films of 2023’s second half really are – and it turns out one of its worst-rated Original Movies was almost its most successful.

Revealing the biggest movies on its platform, between July and December 2023, via its second What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report document, Netflix revealed a clear pattern in the kind of films Netflix subscribers are choosing to watch more than anything else: the humble thriller. Indeed, the list’s top 10 is dominated by such plot-twisting genre fare, with Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s unnerving book Leave the World Behind leading the pack. 

Bolstered its star-packed cast (Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, and Myha’la), Leave The World Behind pulled in 121 million views following its November 2023 debut on the world’s best streaming service. Not shabby for a movie that launched in the final few weeks of last year, eh?

A bruised Rachel Stone looks through a giant window in Netflix's Heart of Stone

The Gal Gadot-starring Heart of Stone somehow secured second place on the list. (Image credit: Robert Viglasky/Netflix)

As mentioned, there are plenty of other thriller-style movies in the top 10, too, including David Fincher’s stylish if straightforwardly-named The Killer, which starred Michael Fassbender as a diligent hitman, debuting at number eight with 67.8 million views. Thanks to its 73.1 million haul, Reptile, a crime thriller starring and co-written by Benicio Del Toro, creeps just past it at number seven, while dystopian survival thriller Nowhere sits at number four with 86.2 million people tuning in to watch it.

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