SALT LAKE CITY — Early data for “Stranger Things 3” shows that a record number of people in the United States watched the show over the July 4 weekend, USA Today reports.

  • 26.4 million U.S. viewers watched the show during the first weekend, according to Nielsen.
  • Nielsen’s numbers show that season three had a 17% higher viewership than the previous season.
  • 824,000 U.S. viewers finished the show when it was released on July 4, too.
  • Netflix announced earlier this week that 40.7 million viewers across the world watched “Stranger Things” over the weekend, according to CNBC.
  • 18.2 million across the world completed the third season by that time, too, according to Netflix’s numbers.

“Compared to the second season, ‘Stranger Things 3’ was an even bigger hit,” Nielsen said in a press release. “Not only did its viewership increase compared to the previous season, it’s also the most-watched Netflix original series we’ve ever analyzed. The season’s release on the long holiday weekend proved fruitful, as viewers were able to leverage their time off from work and dive back into the newest episodes of the cultural phenomenon.”

Why it matters: In December 2018, we learned a little bit more about what shows Netflix’s subscribers enjoy most, according to CNBC.

  • “The Office” led the pack with 52 million minutes watched in 2018 alone.
  • “Friends” was right behind with 32.6 million minutes.

“Netflix has always been tight-lipped about its viewership numbers. When the company does offer up data, it’s usually to boast about a particular show or movie. However, with such a limited collection of information, it’s hard to make comparisons to other programs on its platform and with rivals,” according to CNBC.

Yes, but: “Friends” and “The Office” will soon leave the streaming service as both HBO Maxand NBC’s own streaming service intend to host them on their streaming platforms.