Considering the current state of the world with the prevalent pandemic it is almost impossible to release movies in theatres and therefore it’s ultimately going to be hard to determine “the biggest movie” of the year. Even then, most certainly a contender for the title is Jason Woliner’s Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. It surprised the hell out of audiences when it was officially announced at the beginning of September, and became a massive topic of conversation when it launched on Amazon Prime, late October.
With reference to the way things operate in the digital world, we can’t say for certain exactly how many people have actually watched Borat 2 since it premiered on the online streaming site, but what is now being reported is that the movie saw the second most successful debut of any PVOD release so far in 2020.
That statistics are coming from ScreenEngine/ASI (via Variety), which regularly polls audiences aged 13-64 about what they are watching within seven days of a new title’s release. According to their findings, Borat 2 outpaced other big films including Sam Hargrave’s Extraction, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Old Guard and Niki Caro’s Mulan, but the one release it couldn’t surpass in the rankings was the Broadway recording of Hamilton that launched on Disney+ just in time for the Independence Day holiday this past summer.
The polling doesn’t feature any actual watching statistics, only rankings, but Amazon Prime has made official announcements regarding viewership of Borat 2 following its buzzed-about opening. Towards the end of October the streaming service put out a press release saying that “tens of millions” of subscribers clicked play on the film during its first weekend online, which lined up with reports at the time that its audience was surpassing Mulan.