Netflix's 'The Gray Man' nabs 88.5M hours streamed, sequel and spin-offs in the works

Though Netflix just wrapped up the latest season of the popular “Stranger Things” series, the service has no shortage of eyeballs for its content. “The Gray Man,” Netflix’s new action spy thriller movie, raked in 88.5 million hours viewed the week of July 18.

Released on July 22, "The Gray Man" secured the top spot on Netflix’s English-language films list and also nabbed the number one spot in 92 countries in its opening weekend. Netflix subsequently announced a sequel and spin-off film are in the works. It's part of larger plans for the intellectual property, which Netflix intends "to become a major spy franchise."

“With so many amazing characters in the movie, we had always intended for the Gray Man to be part of an expanded universe,” stated co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo. “We are thrilled that Netflix is announcing a sequel with Ryan [Gosling], as well as a second script that we’re excited to talk about soon."

News of continuing the “The Gray Man” franchise comes just a few weeks after “Stranger Things” co-creators the Duffer Brothers unveiled plans for a series spin-off, to be produced under their newly formed Upside Down Pictures studio.

As for Netflix’s non-English category, notable titles in the top rankings include the Polish-created film “Too Old For Fairy Tales” with 10.8 million hours viewed as well as the Spanish drama series "Alba", which  viewers streamed 57.74 million hours.

Netflix as of late has doubled down on international content, since the Korean series “Squid Game” amassed 1.65 billion hours streamed in its first 28 days. Further boosting “Squid Game’s” popularity, Netflix in June greenlit a reality game show based off the series.

Within Netflix’s English-language TV rankings, the fourth season of “Virgin River” – released on July 20 – accounted for 105.4 million streaming hours. While “Stranger Things 4” maintained its viewing momentum with nearly 75 million hours streamed.

The first volume of “Stranger Things 4” released May 27, boasting 286.7 million hours streamed in its premiere weekend. With the season now completed, “Stranger Things” has claimed the number one spot on Netflix’s most popular English TV list – holding a sizable 1.3 billion hours viewed.

Even though Netflix reported 970,000 subscriber losses in the second quarter, co-CEO Reed Hastings noted the success of “Stranger Things” helped mitigate a greater loss of subscribers. The streamer is aiming to launch its ad-supported tier in early 2023, with Microsoft as its ad sales partner.