Netflix’s hit South Korean thriller “Squid Game” can officially boast the title of the streaming giant’s biggest-ever series launch, blowing past the former record-holder “Bridgerton.”
The show — about a group of cash-strapped debtors who choose to compete in a series of children’s games for a life-changing cash prize — managed to draw in 111 million viewers since its debut on Sept. 17, Netflix said Tuesday evening in a tweet.
That means “Squid Game” beat out Netflix’s previous top show “Bridgerton,” which hit 82 million households in its first 28 days after release.
Netflix counts a viewer as anyone who watches the show for at least two minutes, meaning that not every viewer necessarily finished the series.
Along with announcing the show’s record-breaking launch, Netflix also released a 45-second video in which a henchman character from the show extends “a heartfelt thanks to you all.”
“111 million of you have joined the ranks of the VIPs, making ‘Squid Game’ our #1 show in the world,” the character says in Korean, referring to the ultra-wealthy characters in the show who pay to watch the deadly competitions.
“And for the rest of you, will you seize the opportunity to join the game?” the character asks.
“Only on Netflix,” the video is sure to remind viewers.
“Squid Game” is the platform’s first-ever Korean series to reach No. 1 in the US, and it’s currently on the top 10 list in 94 countries around the world, Netflix said.
And Netflix investors appear to like the show just as much as viewers.
Netflix stock notched a new all-time high earlier this month, with shares up 6 percent since the show was released. Shares of the company were last seen trading less than 1 percent higher, at $630.50 per share.
The show’s success is an important accomplishment for Netflix, which is increasingly investing in commissioning its own shows exclusively for the platform.
The company’s especially focused investing in fast-growing Asian markets like South Korea as it sees subscriber growth in the US begin to stall out amid surging competition from entertainment rivals like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Netflix has invested about 770 billion won, or $645 million, in South Korea since entering the country in 2016, creating about 80 original series and films. Those investments have gone toward acquiring local studios, producing original content and growing talent bases.
In February, the company announced a plan to spend $500 million on original content in South Korea this year.