Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Unfrosted’ has worst debut of any Netflix No 1 this year

Jerry Seinfeld’s critically panned Pop Tarts origin story film has debuted at the top of Netflix’s charts this week – but it is also the streamer’s least-watched No 1 film so far this year.

Unfrosted, written by and starring comedian Seinfeld, 70, opposite Melissa McCarthy, 53, amassed 7.1 million views between 29 April and 5 May. In terms of a debut week on Netflix, this is significantly low in comparison to the 21.1 million average that No 1 films typically receive in their first week on the streaming platform.

Netflix’s original fantasy film Damsel, which spent some time at the No 1 slot this year, received 50.8 million watches in its second week, while Kevin Hart’s heist film Lift racked up 32.8 million one week in early January.

The Sydney Sweeney-Glen Powell romcom Anyone But You is still in second place in the film charts, receiving 6.7 million views between 29 April and 5 March. This is followed by Rebel Moon: Part Two in third place (6 million), Woody Woodpecker Goes to Camp (5.6 million) and Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut (5.4 million).

Having previously ranked popular titles by total viewing time, last year Netflix changed the way it calculates streaming numbers. It now bases its metric on “views”, which are calculated by the dividing the number of hours viewed by the total runtime.

Unfrosted is based (extremely loosely) on the creation of the Pop Tart and the race between rival cereal companies Kellogg’s and Post to “change the face of breakfast forever” with a new pastry invention. Its set in 1963, when William E. LaMothhe, the chairman of Kellogg’s, wanted a toaster-ready breakfast item that could go anywhere.

Christian Slater and Jerry Seinfeld in ‘Unfrosted’ (© 2024 Netflix, Inc.)
Christian Slater and Jerry Seinfeld in ‘Unfrosted’ (© 2024 Netflix, Inc.)

The film marks the comedian’s first directorial feature, though it is not his first writing role, having previously written the children’s animation Bee Movie.

Unfrosted also stars Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer, Max Greenfield, Christian Slater, Sarah Cooper and Bill Burr.

The film been critically panned, receiving a score of 42 per cent on the film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, and some damning reviews from film critics.

The Guardian wrote that the film was “not exactly a masterpiece, but amiable and funny in a way that’s much harder to achieve than it looks”.

‘Unfrosted’ explores the race to invent the latest breakfast snack (NETFLIX / COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION)
‘Unfrosted’ explores the race to invent the latest breakfast snack (NETFLIX / COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION)

Meanwhile, The Washington Post gave the film two and a half stars and declared: “Unfrosted may be the platonic ideal of the Netflix movie: ephemeral, edible, enjoyable, forgettable”.

“It’s essentially Jerry Seinfeld inviting everyone in his Rolodex to come on over for an extended hang to parody the current craze for trademark biopics … The hit-to-miss joke ratio is decent – about three gags land for every one that gets stuck in the toaster.”

Seinfeld recently faced a backlash after claiming that the modern comedy scene had been curtailed by the “extreme left”.

Unfrosted is streaming on Netflix now.