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The Staggering Amount Of Time Netflix Viewers Spent Watching The Gray Man's Debut

Netflix's "The Gray Man" may feature megastars like Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans and hail from "Avengers: Endgame" directors Anthony and Joe Russo, but it was still a major gamble for the streaming company. 

The setup is rather simple. A CIA agent referred to as Sierra Six (Gosling) finds himself on the run after discovering secrets he isn't supposed to know. His handlers call in the help of Lloyd Hansen (Evans) to track him down, setting the table for a spy vs. spy thriller. The simpleness of the story, however, still equated to massive dollars. Just before the movie's release, it was widely reported that "The Gray Man" stood as Netflix's most expensive film, requiring an investment of $200 million (per New York Times).

Since Netflix typically doesn't release its material in theaters — Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" received a very small release — it's more difficult to track the success of a film from the streamer, especially when that film comes equipped with such a massive price tag. What Netflix does track though is the number of hours their material gets streamed, and they aren't shy about letting the public know it. That massive number is just one sign that a $200 million roll of the dice may have been a smart investment for the company. 

The Gray Man was streamed for more than 88 million hours in one week

Netflix subscribers streamed "The Gray Man" for a total of 88.55 million hours in its first week of release, according to the Netflix Top 10 website, which tracks the amount of time the streamer's titles are watched around the globe.

To put that 88.55 million number into context, the second and third most-streamed titles for the week were "The Sea Beast" and "Persuasion," which racked up 34.14 million and 29.04 million hours, respectively. The viewing time earned by "The Gray Man" is definitely good news considering Netflix's $200 million investment, but there are other indicators the streamer is pleased with the end product. 

Less than a week after "The Gray Man" hit Netflix, the Russo Brothers announced in a statement that both a sequel and a spin-off to their movie are already in the works (via Rolling Stone). "With so many amazing characters in the movie, we had always intended for 'The Gray Man' to be part of an expanded universe, and we are thrilled that Netflix is announcing a sequel with Ryan, as well as a second script that we're excited to talk about soon," the duo said. 

Not much is known about the spin-off film, but Netflix has reportedly hired "Deadpool" and "Zombieland" writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to write the script. Considering the two are also working on the upcoming "Deadpool 3," we'd say they're in pretty high demand at the moment. It's yet another sign that Netflix is more than happy to add more to that $200 investment into the world of "The Gray Man."