Max Is Borrowing an Old Netflix Trick to Compile Its Top 10 Lists

Max, formerly known as HBO Max, has rolled out its first Top 10 lists in an effort to increase engagement with its best films and series.

Atop the inaugural podium for series are “Hard Knocks” (NFL training camp with the New York Jets), “And Just Like That…,” and “Winning Time,” a series about the Los Angeles Lakers of the ’80s.

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Leading movies are DC disappointment “The Flash,” Bishop Sycamore high-school football documentary “BS High,” and 2015 Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart prison comedy “Get Hard.”

It measures only those series that released a new episode on the platform within the last six weeks period and movies that debuted within the last eight weeks. Those are the windows when hits usually happen; you’ll see movies a heck of a lot older then “Get Hard” on Max’s top 10. Linear tune-in via HBO or the Discovery cable channels does not count toward Max’s Top 10.

However, Max calculates its Top 10 by taking the number of unique user profiles that watched a title for at least two minutes (emphasis ours), refreshing the lists each day. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the two-minute rule is exactly what Netflix used to do a few years — and a few updates — ago. From January 21, 2020 until October 19, 2021, Netflix believed a two-minute viewing window implied intention.

These days, Netflix’s top 10 ranks titles based on “views” by calculating a film or TV season’s total hours watched, dividing it by total runtime, and rounding to the nearest 100,000. The result is the number of views.

Nielsen tracks U.S. streaming (Amazon Prime, AppleTV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+, Peacock, and Netflix) by the total minutes viewed through a television by any panelist age 2 or older. Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ also have Top 10 lists on their user interfaces; neither shows the math on how they compile the rankings.

GET HARD, from left: Kevin Hart, Will Ferrell, 2015. ph: Patti Perret/©Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
“Get Hard” (2015) from left: Kevin Hart, Will Ferrell©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

At this writing, Max’s top 10 series were:

  1. “Hard Knocks” (Max)

  2. “And Just Like That…” (Max)

  3. “Winning Time” (Max)

  4. “Telemarketers” (Max)

  5. “Harley Quinn” (Max)

  6. “Fionna and Cake” (Max)

  7. “90 Day: The Last Resort” (Discovery+)

  8. “90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way” (Discovery+)

  9. “Kim Vs. Kanye: The Divorce” (Discovery+)

  10. “Sister Wives” (Discovery+)

And the top 10 movies:

  1. “The Flash” (Warner Bros.)

  2. “BS High” (Max)

  3. “Get Hard” (Warner Bros.)

  4. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Studios)

  5. “Twister” (Warner Bros.)

  6. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (Sony)

  7. “Avatar” (20th Century Studios)

  8. “American Gangster” (Universal)

  9. “Spaceballs” (MGM)

  10. “Miss Congeniality” (Warner Bros.)

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