Dahmer: Monsters: The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer is already a Netflix phenomenon. The fact that true crime is a popular topic on the streaming service shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the way the serial killer biopic starring Marvel star Evan Peters has taken over the world in just one week is unparalleled , which is now also confirmed by the official Netflix data. In total, “Dahmer” was streamed an incredible 196.2 million hours within its first week.
The only other Netflix titles to have reached this number since the streaming service made this data publicly available are “Stranger Things’ Season 4 (286.8 million hours) and ‘Money Heist’ Season 5 (201.9 million). But these are long-established brands with a base of loyal fans. That’s a record for a series restart like “Dahmer”!
Previously, the South Korean zombie series “All Of Us Are Dead” topped the series with 124.8 million hours. So the gap is huge, but that’s at least partly because “All Of Us Are Dead” had two fewer days in its first week than “Dahmer”. Because the current true crime hit was released on a Wednesday, while the previous record holder started on a Friday. Had “Dahmer” also been released on a Friday, which is the norm for major Netflix reboots, it would have been a very close race. But the record would have fallen like that. After all, people watch a lot more on the weekend than on Wednesday and Thursday.
For movies, Red Notice is number one with 148.7 million hours in its first week. “Dahmer” has thus also surpassed the Dwayne Johnson hit, although comparisons between films and series are very poor due to the very different running times.
But what about “Squid Game”? Have we just forgotten the biggest Netflix hit of all time? Not at all, because in fact, the Korean high-flyer got off to a very slow start with only 63.2 million hours. It was only from week 2 that a global hit developed from it, collecting over 1.65 billion watched hours in its first four weeks.
As mentioned at the beginning, true crime formats are very popular on Netflix. As early as 2019, the streaming provider managed to create a real Ted Bundy hype with the documentary “Ted Bundy: Self-portrait of a serial killer”, which triggered controversial discussionsbecause at that time numerous viewers melted away due to the attractiveness of the 30-times woman murderer and announced this on social media.
Netflix capitalized on the attention and shortly thereafter bought the Ted Bundy film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, starring former teen heartthrob Zac Efron as the serial killer.
Since then, hardly a month has gone by without new true crime content, making Netflix the go-to destination for genre fans. Starring a well-known actor in Marvel star Evan Peters (Quicksilver in the X-Men films), Dahmer has found wide audience appeal. Ratings of 8.4 out of 10 IMDB and an audience score of 87 percent positive ratings Rotten Tomatoes speak a clear language. The fact that the critics are divided (50 percent positive reviews) doesn’t matter to Netflix.
“Dahmer” is hotly debated on social media and largely praised. The overall gist: Disturbing and difficult to watch, but also engaging, entertaining and with an outstanding performance by Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer.
The fact that the whole thing is based on a true story and, in addition to the brutal murders, also continues to address current problems such as structural racism in the judicial system, provides further topics of conversation. Just like the issue of whether it’s even morally okay to be entertained by mock murders of real serial killers. But it is probably also this hint of the forbidden that makes “Dahmer” all the more attractive.