The coronavirus pandemic had reportedly driven up interest in chess this year as locked-down consumers took up the game even before "The Queen's Gambit" arrived. Netflix states that Walter Tevis' The Queen's Gambit - the novel on which the series is based - is now on The New York Times bestseller list decades after its original release in 1983.
In a statement, Netflix reports that The Queen's Gambit was viewed by 62 million households within its first 28 days on the streaming service. Netflix reported that a record-setting 55M households streamed "The Queen's Gambit" in the first 28 days following the premiere.
Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon, who becomes an global chess star while battling addiction.
THR reports that in the US, the series has also made Nielsen's streaming top 10, with Netflix users watching 551 million minutes of the show over its first three days of release.
The series description reads, "Chronicling the life of an orphan chess prodigy, the story - set during the Cold War era - follows Beth Harmon from the age of eight to twenty-two, as she struggles with addiction in a quest to become the greatest chess player in the world". "It's just all way beyond what any of us could have imagined", said co-creator, showrunner and director Scott Frank. "And we look forward to bringing you our Yahtzee limited series next".
Netflix isn't required to disclose their viewership numbers and tends to only do so when the numbers are exceptional, meaning its not possible to say what the other top-viewed limited series are.
According to IndieWire, this opening figure places The Queen's Gambit in the same league as some of Netflix's largest original film debuts, ranging from Martin Scorsese's The Irishman to JC Chandor's Triple Frontier. I think people responded to rooting for her against all these odds.