Spiderhead, Netflix’s new film, had a strong debut weekend, but it falls short against one guy

With almost 35 million hours of watching in its first weekend, Netflix’s star-studded new psychological thriller, Spiderhead, has had a blockbuster debut weekend on the streaming site. However, this was not enough to propel it to the top of Netflix’s weekly list of the service’s most popular films.

Since November 2021, Netflix has published a weekly list of its top popular TV programmes and movies (opens in a new tab). With Netflix sharing four separate lists for movies (English and Non-English) and TV shows (English and Non-English), the weekly hours viewed list ranks titles based on the total number of hours subscribers globally watched each title from Monday to Sunday of the previous week.

Spiderhead, which is based on the short tale Escape From Spiderhead by George Sanders, stars Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, Top Gun: Maverick’s Miles Teller, Birds Of Prey’s Jurnee Smollett, and Alien: Covenant’s Tess Haubrich.

There will be a world where convicts may volunteer to be medical test subjects in exchange for a reduced sentence in the Netflix film.

Hemsworth, a producer as well as an actor, plays Steve Abnesti, the experiment’s chief overseer, who administers a new drug to one inmate in order to induce feelings of love. He starts to doubt his feelings for Rachel, a fellow prisoner, when he learns that the trial is taking place, and he begins to feel a connection with another prisoner, Jeff. Jeff sets out on a mission to free her from the prison’s experiments as the situation worsens…

Joseph Kosinski, who is ready to thrill us all with his long-awaited action-spectacular Top Gun sequel, has directed the movie, with the story coming from Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

There was a huge gap between it and the next closest competitor, the animated adventure Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness, when it debuted at No. 2 on the weekly chart. There’s one guy who can beat them all, even with the star power of Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller, fresh off the triumph of Top Gun: Maverick….

The Sand-Man is on the prowl….

Adam Sandler, the actor. In particular, his new sports drama Hustle, which remained at the top of the charts for a second straight week.

Hustle didn’t so much defeat Spiderhead as smash it, with 57.2 million watching hours, a full 22 million ahead of the stellar sci-fi effort. What’s even more astounding is that’s Hustle’s second week on the platform, last week, it did 84.6 million watching hours.

The movie is a sports drama, which stars Sandler as Stanley Sugarman, a basketball scout, who, after uncovering a once-in-a-lifetime athlete with a troubled background overseas,  takes it upon himself to bring the young prodigy to the States without his team’s consent. Against the odds, the couple must struggle to establish that they both deserve to make it big in the NBA.

Is Spiderhead a failure or is Hustle a juggernaut?

The answer is a little of both.

Hustle has clearly surpassed expectations, with the movie already closing in on 150 million watching hours and garnering a Top 10 rank in a stunning 92 countries.

Part of it may be attributed to positive reviews, which are uncommon for Sandler. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film had an impressive 92 percent rating, and TechRadar reviewer Jon O’Brien concurred, deeming it an excellent film.

Spiderhead, on the other hand, will fall short of Netflix’s expectations in terms of sales. 35 million hours is a lot, but it’s a long way behind the likes of Rebel Wilson’s comedy Senior Year, which did 62 million in its first weekend, Ryan Reynolds’ coming-of-age adventure The Adam Project, which did almost 100 million, and even the widely panned erotic sequel 365 Days: This Day, which managed almost 78 million.

On Rotten Tomatoes, Spiderhead had a dismal 41% rating, whereas Hustle received a 93% rating (opens in new tab).

However, Netflix would have been expecting for Adam Project-like results and a spot in its all-time Top 10 with the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Evan Teller behind it. That’s not going to happen now.