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Netflix Contest Winners Break Guinness World Record for Movie Watching

8 Dec, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

Eleven Netflix members broke the Guinness World Record for continuous movie watching early today in a Netflix-sponsored stunt.

Participants watched nearly 35 movies in 66 hours and 30 minutes. Both exhilarated and exhausted, the participants crossed the movie-watching finish line at 4:30 a.m., breaking the old record by 13 minutes.

“It's a new level in self control and willpower for me,” participant Ekin Binal said. “A love of movies, the support of the group and an enthusiastic support team got me through.”

Binal, Erik Acosta, Dina Agrapides, Eric Bailey, Wayne Diana, Mark Huang, Cheryl Jones, Daniel Koenig, Ron Mathewson, Allan Press and Nathan Snook were the survivors of an original group of 20 Netflix members selected because of their passion for film and their zeal for competition.

Netflix provided pillows, popcorn, slippers, coffee tables, lamps, candy bowls and coffee cups spread to every corner of Times Square Studios at 44th and Broadway.

The challengers started with Die Hard, Friday at 10 a.m. and finished at 4:30 a.m. Monday, with Die Hard with a Vengeance. In between, they watched an array of classics and contemporaries from Annie Hall, Raising Arizona and Backdraft to The Wizard of Oz, Spies Like Us, Dr. Strangelove, Old School and Run Lola Run.

Under Guinness rules, competitors could not divert their eyes from the screen, but were allowed five minute breaks after every movie and 15 minute breaks after every three movies. During the movies participants ate, drank, exercised, shouted and danced to stay awake while keeping their eyes firmly affixed to the screen. Restroom time was relegated to the 15-minute breaks.

“We are very proud of our new world record holders and not surprised in the least that they succeeded in this challenge,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said. “I always knew Netflix brought out the movie lover in all our members, but these world-class competitors took movie fanaticism to a new level.”

Each of the 11 participants who completed the challenge received a lifetime membership to Netflix.

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