Netflix’s The Old Guard Was Even More Popular Than We Realized

Charlize Theron behind the scenes of The Old Guard

For obvious reasons, 2020 has been a down period for action films. Initially there were some massive titles set to come out in the calendar year, including Cate Shortland's Black Widow, Cary Fukunaga's No Time To Die, Justin Lin's F9, Robert Schwentke's Snake Eyes, and more, but theater closures have forced all of them to move to 2021. As a result, that particular hunger needed to be satiated in other ways, and it turns out that Gina Prince-Bythewood's The Old Guard was an excellent substitute for the big screen blockbuster experience when it was released this past summer.

It was no secret that The Old Guard was a hit when it arrived on Netflix this past July, as it was a consistent presence for a long time in the site's Top 10 list – but because the streaming service doesn't provide ratings reports we've only been able to surmise its popularity. Now, however, there are hard numbers to back up the success, and they are impressive.

The official Netflix Twitter account has been posting viewer statistics for the most popular titles on the streaming service during the third quarter of 2020, and it turns out that no other title could touch the viewership of The Old Guard (though it's worth noting that because the film came out in early July, it was available to watch for a much longer time than, say, Harry Bradbeer's Enola Holmes, which was released with only one week left in the July-to-September window). All accounted for, 78 million households reportedly watched Charlize Theron lead what is guaranteed to become a new franchise.

Based on the comic series of the same name by writer Greg Rucka and artists Leandro Fernández, the plot centers on a group of immortals who have spent their thousands of years of life on Earth trying to do as much good as they can for the world. It makes for a hard, secretive life, but things get even harder when, almost simultaneously, a new immortal wakes up in the world, and the group is set up by an ex-CIA agent. The impressive cast includes Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Luca Marinelli, Marwan Kenzari, Harry Melling, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and the release was met by acclaim from both critics and audiences alike.

The quality of The Old Guard was alone enough to make audiences immediately start asking for more (particularly spurred on by the movie's mid-credits coda scene), but one has to imagine that Netflix is looking at that 78 million figure and immediately figuring out how they can lock down cast and crew for the follow-up. As of right now there haven't been any official announcements regarding the development of The Old Guard 2, but you can be sure that there are moves being made behind the scenes to have it made and ready for release in the next couple of years. Naturally, we here at CinemaBlend are keeping our ear to the ground for all of the latest rumblings, so keep an eye out for the latest updates.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.