2022 was a big year for TV and film. There were some fantastic hits and there were some cringe-worthy flops, but which releases proved the most popular?
Through analysing audience reviews, critic ratings, and online popularity, this report details everything you need to know about 2022's biggest releases across Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video.
If you’re looking to stream the most popular releases from 2022, finding the best broadband deal is crucial. Be sure to compare broadband deals so that you can stream the likes of Heartstopper, Tales of the Jedi, and After Life right now, with no interruptions.
In recent years, Netflix has become a household name. Despite seeing declining subscribers for the first time in 10 years, the streaming platform has still outperformed its competition. Netflix has earned the top spots for the most popular streaming releases across the three streaming sites analysed. Here consider each streaming service independently, with the biggest 2022 releases from Netflix.
British romantic comedy-drama Heartstopper ranks as the biggest streaming release for Netflix in 2022. Heartstopper centres around Charlie, a gay schoolboy who falls in love with his classmate. The show has received wide critical acclaim, specifically for its tone, pacing, and representation of LGBTQ+ communities. The series has also won the hearts and minds of Netflix viewers. Heartstopper has earned an impeccable 100% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an excellent 8.7 on IMDb. With over 2 million monthly searches, Heartstopper was one of the most searched-for shows of 2022.
The second biggest release for Netflix in 2022 was The Last Kingdom. The British historical fiction series was adapted from Bernard Cornwell's series of novels, The Saxon Stories. There are five series of The Last Kingdom with the 5th and final series released in March 2022. The series retained a significant critics rating of 91% and a great IMDb score of 8.5. Just shy of 2 million people searched for the show each month and there have been 33,700 articles released on The Last Kingdom in the last 2 years.
American sport television docuseries, Cheer, ranks as the third biggest 2022 release for Netflix. Cheer is a six-part series following the nationally-ranked Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team, who are preparing to compete in a National Cheerleading Championship. The show aims to capture what it really takes to be a cheerleader in the modern world and is a hit among viewers. Cheer received an 8.1 rating on IMDb from audiences and a 95% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Prime Video broke records during 2022 as The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power became the most expensive series ever produced. This popular show cost the platform an estimated $465 million for 8 episodes, working out at around $89.4 million per episode. Here are the biggest hits for Prime Video last year.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power ranks as Prime Video’s biggest release of 2022. Despite a 6.9/10 score on IMDb, The Rings of Power saw a massive 2.9 million monthly searches on Google and over 100,000 new articles written about it. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes also ranked the show at 85%, suggesting it is well worth a watch. The Rings of Power is a prequel story to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. For fans of these films, the show depicts the monumental events of the forging of the Rings of Power and the beginnings of Dark Lord Sauron.
The Expanse is a science fiction series based on the novels of the same name by James S. A. Corey. Set in a far future, humanity has colonised the Solar System and a conspiracy threatens to kick off a Cold War between the governments of Earth and Mars. At the same time, a new alien technology is discovered which changes everything. The show has received critical acclaim across the board. Stunning visuals, well-written character development, and political narrative all serve to earn The Expanse its 94% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The show has also won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation alongside three Saturn Award nominations.
Prime Video’s third biggest release from 2022 is Argentina, 1985, an Argentine historical drama movie based on real events. The film covers the monumental work of lawyers as they prosecute those responsible for the most bloody dictatorship in Argentina’s history. The events follow the 1985 Trial of the Juntas. Alongside solid Rotten Tomatoes reviews averaging 98% and an IMDb rating of 7.8, Argentina, 1985 was named as one of the top 5 international films of 2022.
Back in December 2021, Disney announced that around 80% of Disney film and TV projects would air directly on Disney+. This includes massive franchises such as Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic. Here are the biggest Disney+ releases of 2022.
Andor, or Star Wars: Andor, is a live-action spin-off show in the Star Wars franchise. Andor is the prequel to both Rogue One (2016) and the original Star Wars (1977). The show centres around Rebel spy Cassian Andor. During the events five years prior to the above-mentioned films, a Rebel Alliance forms its opposition to the Galactic Empire. Andor has seen a massive 301,000 monthly searches and 171,000 Google News articles. With a 93% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and an 8.3 on IMDb, Andor proves to be a successful addition to the Star Wars franchise.
Moon Knight is a miniseries based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Starring Oscar Isaac, the show follows the two personalities of one man with dissociative identity disorder as they are drawn into an Egyptian mystery. Running for 6 episodes over March and May of 2022, Moon Knight received positive reviews including 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.3/10 on IMDB. Particular praise has been left for the performances of Isaac, May Calamawy, and Ethan Hawke, alongside commendation for Moon Knight’s portrayal of dissociative identity disorder.
Andor wasn’t the only Star Wars series that received much attention last year. Tales of the Jedi ranks as Disney+’s third biggest release of 2022, having received a 100% Rotten Tomatoes critics score and an 8.3 IMDb score. Tales of the Jedi is an animated series where each episode tells a story featuring the prequel trilogy Jedi, including Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. There are almost 50,000 searches for this show every month and it continues the trend of successful animated Star Wars stories.
Here we consider all of the biggest 2022 releases from Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+, together. Netflix comes out on top, filling out four of the top five spots for the biggest streamed shows and movies over 2022. Heartstopper, The Last Kingdom, Cheer, and Ozark rank as the biggest streaming releases of last year. Disney+ grabs the 5th top spot with Andor, while Prime Video sees its biggest release, Argentina, 1985, reach number 9 on this list.
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