This Alum Directed Netflix’s Most Popular Movie of 2019

Murder Mystery

Photo via Kyle Newacheck

Murder Mystery is the cutthroat comedy that killed its competition for
the number one movie spot on Netflix

Netflix has come a long way since it debuted its first original series House of Cards in 2013. By 2019, Netflix spread to 190 countries offering an overwhelming selection of original and licensed shows and movies. This binge-worthy content phenomenon elevated what we watched and when throughout the 2010s.

With a reported 158 million subscribers in 2019, Netflix caused many cable consumers to ditch their traditional service providers in favor of its stream-friendly platform. Netflix changed the entertainment game and paved the road for rival services to compete in the content race. The biggest competitor lurking in Netflix’s rearview mirror is Amazon. An estimated 97 million subscribers make up Amazon’s Prime Video base. Both services are betting big on their original shows, shorter production schedules and profitable licensing deals. As the competition heats up during the 2020 awards season, it’s any networks’ game to take home the most wins.

Netflix created its own competitive benchmarks within its platform in addition to racking up award nominations.

Netflix’s Most Popular Movie of 2019

To close the decade, Netflix released its most popular titles of 2019. The number one spot went to Murder Mystery, a quirky, whodunit Netflix original released in June. L.A. Film School alumnus Kyle Newacheck directed the record-breaking film, which also won a People’s Choice Award for Comedy Movie of 2019.

Remember the 158 million subscribers we mentioned earlier? Of those subscribers, 30.9 million watched Murder Mystery over a three-day span. Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s combined star power guided by Kyle Newacheck’s funnyman mentality catapulted Murder Mystery to the number one spot. According to Netflix, a title’s “popularity” is measured by the number of subscribers who watched at least two minutes of a feature or TV show in the first 28 days of its release. The second and third most popular titles went to the third season of Stranger Things and Michael Bay’s 6 Underground, respectively.

The Los Angeles Film School Connection

The L.A. Film School inducted Kyle Newacheck into its first Spotlight Academy in honor of the school’s 20th anniversary. This past summer, we held a special screening and director’s Q&A of Murder Mystery for our students. Watch the video below to see what Kyle had to say about directing Netflix’s most popular film of 2019.

Interested in learning about Kyle’s day-to-day process as a director? Watch his interview with The Los Angeles Film School below.

Inside look at Kyle’s directing process

Learn more about our film programs here.