« Netflix Looking for UI & Visual Designers, Engineers, PMs, & More | Main | Compete Compares Netflix & Blockbuster Traffic »



I watch them almost immediately and send them back the next day. Netflix recieves them the day after that. At first I was getting so many a month it was like paying less than $1. per movie but all of a sudden they're taking longer and longer to get here sometimes up to 5 days so I'm getting less per month. Funny though when I return them they still get them the next day. Seems like Netflix is deliberately slowing shipping doesn't it?


If I haven't watched them within two weeks I try to send them back...but I think I kept a movie for two months once and never watched it.


i started working full time and going to law school at night. haven't watched the movies i've had for 7 months LOL. i have been doing watch instant a lot, but Larence of Arabia and Annie Hall have been at my house for that long. FAIL!


Let me save you the trouble: Passion of the Christ isn't worth your time. It's Godawful. (Get it?)

Tim S.

I watch them the day I get them and put them in the mail the next day. The only exceptions have been weekends, where I have an extra day to watch the movie. I always ship the disc on Monday for weekend titles.


i kept M for over 6 months. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M_(1931_film) I kept wanting to watch it but I was just never in the mood for a 2 hour, mostly silent, black-and-white German movie from the 30s about a child murderer. it ended up being really good, though.


Had The Diving Bell and The Butterfly for 4 months before sending it back because it became available on Instant Play. Fail.


a week at the longest... i actually cut back to 1-at-a-time since im addicted to Watch Instant...


I had Stephen King's Desperation for around 2 years. My roommate wanted to watch it but never got around to it. I was on the 6 at a time plan and we were sharing an account. When he moved away, I watched it and returned it.


Normally no more than a week, maybe 2 weeks if I had a vacation in the middle. But I've had Australia for a month and a half. My girlfriend wants to watch it too and we just haven't had time to settle in for a 3 hour movie lately.


I normally watch them the same week I get them, but I've had "28-Up" since LAST AUGUST. I think I'll watch it tonight....


Haha, interesting to see that I'm not the only one whose longest rented movie on netflix was M. It's a top 50 movie on IMDb yet it took me 3 times to get through it, and I probably rented it twice. I'd say the first time I had it out for over a month.


heh, my longest at-home was also Lawrence of Arabia, at about six months. Of course, when I finally did watch it, it turned out to be awesome.

It's definitely the right idea to set a time cap like 2 weeks and if you haven't watched it by then, Just Send It Back. It's weird that our brains are wired to think that sending it back without watching it is wasteful of... something... but having it sit there for months is somehow better?

Another idea is once you've had a disc a week or more, just watch the first ten minutes of it. You'll probably end up watching the rest....


Wow now I know who to blame for the over two dozen movies that have been removed from my queue automatically after weeks of very long wait status. And just under a dozen moved to the saved queue due to the same. Why keep one or more movies for so long? Watch them in a reasonable time frame or don't watch them and return them and get another movie.

The longest I will keep a movie is 2 days. It is simply pointless to keep them much longer than that. For netflix to be cost effective I have to watch at least one movie for every dollar I pay for the service otherwise I might as well rent them from my local video store.

Mark Moline

Casanova - 202 days
Spartacus - 197 days
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - 139 days

I have no idea why we kept Spartacus for so long. The other two were definitely kid-related. DVD disappears from TV table and winds up somewhere in all the kids toys and stuff, or behind the couch, or packed in a bin with summer clothes in the fall and doesn't get seen again until spring.

Not too tough to save your rental history page as html, open it with excel, tweak a couple columns and come up with the list of rentals times.

My average rental period is 12 days, including those big ones.


I had Star Wars: ESB for well over a year (shipped 12/13/07, returned 03/17/09). Somehow got distracted and just stopped interacting w/Netflix for that long.


I've kept movies for a month or more. Usually it's a movie that's going to be a "difficult" watch (like The Kite Runner), but sometimes it's a movie that a family member or friend recommended (or insisted I watch) and while I thought I'd give it a chance, it turns out I just. don't. really. want. to. watch (those I usually send back, unwatched). I always have many more to choose from (and to turn over quickly) so I don't mind keeping one until I'm in the mood. Who knows when I'm going to get it back AND be in the mood to watch it? Just keep it, that's kinda one of Netflix's selling points, no return worries.


I kept the Godfather II for a little over eight months. I wanted to watch it, but needed to work up the courage to watch a 3 1/2 hour long movie. I didn't mind keeping one at home for that long because lately I've only been watching one or two movies week, even though I'm on the 3 at a time plan. You get better service that way. :)


@Theo: I saw Passion of the Christ, and it's a very good movie, though not for everyone. It's hard to watch, but worth it.


I think the longest we kept one was about a month. We were on the five at a time plan and it was very tempting to keep one around if you wanted to see it.

We are now on the three at a time - one for me and one for each of the kids and that works well.

@sue I think there is some truth to the theory that NF slows down on purpose.

@Kevin Excellent point! There is something about human nature that makes us not want to give up. We learned a long time ago that it is simply better to send the movie back and add it to the queue again.

@Raleigh Watching ESB just seems like it lasts a year. :)

Paul Roberts

If I have a movie for more than a week I run it through handbrake.


Here is what I do.
I always try to send my movies by thursday, so I'll receive new movies on Saturday.

Or if new movies come in next week, I'll send my old titles on Friday, that way most likely I would get new releases on Tuesday.


According to Feedfliks the movie I kept longer than any other is one I don't even remember renting (I had to have watched only 10 minutes before giving up):

American Movie
Returned in 28 days (12/Mar/07 to 09/Apr/07)

The next closest was Blood Diamond (22 Days, unwatched)... I don't like seeing children getting murdered within 5 minutes of watching a movie.

Go to the Feedfliks site to get this thorough information.


I've smartened up since then (That was '07!! Wow.)... why rent something you know you're going to struggle to watch? Either watch the whole thing or eject & return it... simple!


I think revolutionary road is going to be my longest. I've already had it for almost 2 weeks I think. I keep forgetting to bring it to my Fiance's to watch...


@Sue and bsoist: I used to be a heavy user, and believe me the service does degrade the more you use it. I used to return all three of my movies each week, and after a while I couldn't even get new releases (they were always a "very long wait"). Also, I did notice that it would take them an extra day to "receive" my movies, when really they probably just held off processing them. And sometimes they would send me movies from distribution centers thousands of miles away, holding up the process even more. I believe Netflix got sued over this since they were claiming "unlimited" rentals in their advertising, when really they were punishing customers who used the service so much they were no longer profitable. They still slow down your service, they just don't claim "unlimited" rentals anymore.


several times it's been a month, then i've conceded that if it's been that long, i'm not in the mood for it right now and returned it unwatched. i'll try to get back to those when i'm more in the mood.

Dr. Netflix

Didn't we discuss this on Hacking Netflix before?

I have an even more irrelevant question. Who keeps movies out longer: Democrats or Republicans?

I'll bet you a million bucks there is a clear statistical difference. But I'm not saying who I think are the slow returners.


Fracture - had it for 9 months. Wife had a baby.


2 days max.

I'm shocked at the replies here. How wasteful.. no wonder some things can stay on wait for so long.

Watch the movies you rent, don't just rent things to have around the house. Believe it or not some of us want to actually watch these movies.


Someone convinced me to give older movies a chance, so I got My Favorite Brunette in January. I still have it right here.

Neener Neener

I keep movies no longer than 7 days, although the vast majority are returned within 3 days depending how many I need to send in for Tuesday releases.

It's the TV shows that kill me. Watching four to six hours of TV shows back to back on one disk is tough to get through.


I had Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) for 3 months exactly. I watched the first half and it started skipping, but I held on to it since it was a busy time for me. I finally got around to watching it again (didn't skip on the PS3!). Also, I have the one out at a time plan (+Blu-Ray). Most expensive movie rental ever...it would have been cheaper to just buy the movie.

Chance the Gardener

Yes we did discuss this in 2005:


Chance the Gardener

Also in 2008, with link to Slate article




Maybe 5 days?

When I hear somebody say "6 months" or something similar I just have to shake my head in disgust.

Chance the Gardener

Slate poll results


Passion of the Christ is mentioned.


KARVA: When I hear somebody say "6 months" or something similar I just have to shake my head in disgust.

It's their stupidity... I don't even bother to shake my head anymore because I know that they're just wasting their own money on a service they do not use. Why get 3 at a time if you're just going to let 1 disc sit for 3 years? Such morons.

I think Netflix should stop allowing it. If you keep a movie for 1 year, they should charge the full price of the DVD/Blu-ray to your account, and be done with it. Other people always want to see it.

Sarah TX

Oh gosh, my spouse and I have held movies for several months before. We have 9 titles that we've kept for over 30 days. We kept 8-1/2 for 166 days! So if anyone was waiting for that movie at the end of 2007 in the South Texas area... well, my bad.

I blame the fact that we were on a 3-at-a-time plan back then, and kept getting new movies that we wanted to watch.


11 months for "Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life". It'll be a year August 22.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Third-Party Netflix Sites