American Murder: The Family Next Door becomes Netflix’s most-watched doc feature

The streaming service has built a reputation for its true crime lineup.

American Murder Chris and Shaann Watts

Chilling true crime feature American Murder: The Family Next Door has become Netflix’s most-watched documentary film, the streaming service has revealed.

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Released at the end of September, the factual piece explores the tragic story of Shanann Watts, who was killed by her husband in 2018, as were her two young daughters, Bella and Celeste.

The documentary uses a wide variety of archive footage to create a timeline of events before and after the crime, including social media posts, text messages and home videos.

Netflix has revealed that the film is projected to be viewed by 52 million subscribers in its first 28 days, which would make it the platform’s most successful feature-length documentary to date.

This would also place it significantly higher than The Social Dilemma, another Netflix original film to be made available in recent weeks, which explores the danger posed to society by the rise of social media.

It was viewed by 38 million households in its first 28 days and generated plenty of buzz online, as it made people reflect on their own social media habits.

Netflix also announced that The Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai has been a mammoth hit for the service since moving from YouTube Premium, with the first season reaching 50 million households in just one month.

The streamer has a third season on the way next year and has already commissioned a fourth instalment, meaning there’s plenty more martial arts drama to come.

Meanwhile, Millie Bobby Brown’s mystery adventure Enola Holmes, which had been intended for a cinema release prior to the coronavirus pandemic, has been another major success for Netflix.

The film is estimated to be watched by 76 million households across its first 28 days, a figure that places it roughly on par with Charlize Theron’s The Old Guard, which arrived on the service over the summer.

It is yet to be announced whether either film could get a sequel, but fans of Bobby Brown do have the fourth chapter in the Stranger Things saga to look forward to.

Netflix is generally very private about its viewing figures, only occasionally releasing official data, although some third-party companies do attempt to make their own estimates on subscriber habits.

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American Murder: The Family Next Door is available to stream now on Netflix. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.