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Despite Nicole Kidman Casting Backlash, Being The Ricardos Was Streamed An Insane Amount Of Times

Nicole Kidman in Being the Ricardos
(Image credit: Amazon)

These days, Nicole Kidman’s name seems to be more or less synonymous with streaming content. While the iconic actress still regularly makes films intended for theatrical release, some of her most ambitious projects of late have been for platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. It looks like even some controversy isn’t enough to break her successful streak on streaming services, too – because despite backlash toward her casting, her newest film Being The Ricardos pulled in big viewership numbers. 

For the week of December 20 through 26, Being The Ricardos placed third on Nielsen’s movie streaming chart, having been viewed a total of 604 million minutes in that time period. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Elf and Home Alone placed first and second, with 782 million and 700 million minutes, respectively. Netflix’s Don’t Look Up was fourth on the chart, with 521 million minutes. The I Love Lucy-centric film was released on December 21. 

These are impressive numbers for the Aaron Sorkin-directed Amazon Prime Video film. Competing with eternally popular Christmas classics during a holiday weekend is no easy feat, but Being The Ricardos held its own. The film, which stars Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz, follows the highs and lows of the power couple’s lives. 

When the biopic was first announced, the news of Nicole Kidman’s casting was met with backlash from fans who didn’t feel she was the right person for the role. Aaron Sorkin later defended the decision to cast Kidman, telling THR that he didn’t want the actors playing either of the lead roles to try to perfectly impersonate the iconic stars’ voice or physical mannerisms. 

Despite the initial backlash, the film ultimately seems to have landed pretty well. It currently holds a 65 percent fresh rating from critics and a 75 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg gave Being The Ricardos four stars in his review, and praised the two leads, saying they gave two of the best performances of the year. 

In the past few years, Nicole Kidman has branched out beyond the big screen, with performances in the twisty The Undoing and Big Little Lies for HBO. The latter saw big gains in viewership due to the network’s streaming platform, according to THR. Before her latest feature, Kidman previously ventured in the exclusive streaming realm on Hulu's soapy Nine Perfect Strangers

The Oscar winner has also proven to be adept at playing real-life roles. Being The Ricardos is the the third film she's made in this vein, following her turn as Gretchen Carlson in Bombshell in 2019 and her Oscar-winning performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours

Nicole Kidman seems poised to continue her streaming service domination, too. She's set to star in another Amazon Prime Video production, an adaptation of Janelle Brown's Pretty Things. Being The Ricardos is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime.