The new Netflix original series, Lupin (Lupin: Dans l’Ombre d’Arsène), produced by Gaumont and created by George Kay, in collaboration with François Uzan, is fast becoming the streaming platform’s most popular French show since its release just a week ago on January 8.
The series starring Omar Sy (Intouchables, Jurassic World) has entered Netflix’s Top 10 Shows in most countries around the globe. In the majority of countries in Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Denmark, Lupin stands and has remained all week at the top of the TV shows chart. The series is the No. 1 show today in countries around the world, including Canada, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa.
In the U.S., Lupin became the first French series to enter the Top 10 list, at number 8, quickly rising up to No.1 over the weekend. Lupin now seems to be wrestling with Bridgerton for the first place in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.
Lupin is one of the most streamed series across the world this week. The show has an 80% audience score and a 100% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes, which I guess did not take into account the negative reviews in the French press. Lupin is an excellent show that pays homage to a very popular French fiction character created by Maurice Leblanc at the start of the twentieth century, Arsène Lupin.
If you’d like to know what Lupin is really about, then just take a look at a new promotional stunt released by Netflix France on Tuesday, which perfectly encapsulates the underlying theme of the French series. The clip shows Omar Sy installing a huge poster for the Netflix show at a metro station in Paris—the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre station to be precise, the very station that serves the museum that features in the opening episode of the show.
The clip, released by Netflix France, is only in French unfortunately, and shows Omar Sy sticking the poster in the station without being noticed by anyone. At one point he asks a woman waiting for the metro to help him out, telling her it is his first day on the job. The clip ends with Omar Sy saying “you saw me, but you didn’t look at me” (“Vous m’avez vu, mais vous ne m’avez pas regardé”). Sy is a huge star in France, it thus seems unbelievable that he would go completely unnoticed (even in moments when he takes his mask off for a few seconds). It is a playful short clip that captures the mood of the show.
According to Le Parisien, the Netflix series has also boosted the sales of Maurice Leblanc’s novels. Cécile Térouanne, the editorial director of publishing house Hachette Romans and Livre de Poche Jeunesse, explained that with the popularity of the series, they had to relaunch a reprint which now reaches 10,000 copies in France.
The publishing house collaborated with Netflix for a new edition of the novels that resembles the one Omar Sy’s character has in the series, with images of the series inside the books. “We wanted to send the message that the series is a permanent tribute to Arsène Lupin,” Térouanne said. Since 2012, the work of Maurice Leblanc is in the public domain. The popularity of the books on the gentleman thief has never fallen, with thousands of copies selling each year.
The performance of the French series, in the first week of its release, is thus very impressive, landing on Netflix’s Top 10 in numerous countries across the globe. It is so impressive in fact that TV Time, the world’s largest TV and movie tracking app with over 16 million registered TV fans across 200-plus countries, predicts that Lupin will be Netflix’s next big international hit.
The data aggregated by TV Time suggests that Lupin is outpacing the growth rates of other major international Netflix original hits, such as Sex Education, Elite, Dark, The Crown, and Cable Girls, during their respective debut launch windows—that is, their initial three-day launch window (La Casa de Papel/Money Heist was not included in their comparison, as the Spanish series debuted on Antena 3 in Spain, and not on Netflix). TV Times measures engagement and interest in a show, their data indicate that there is a massive viewer interest in Lupin.
In the last week, Lupin was one of TV Time‘s most binged shows, ranking at no. 5 on their weekly chart. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was at no. 1, for the week of January 4-10. TV Time measures a binge as when a viewer watches 4 or more episodes of a show within one day. According to their data, the French series is appealing to a broad viewership of all ages and both genders. With a holiday weekend coming up in the U.S., it is thus very likely the show will see massive viewership. It is a remarkable debut performance, unprecedented for a French series on Netflix.
Update [January 15]: This post has been updated to reflect TV Time’s data on Lupin‘s debut performance.