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The Broadway musical Hamilton took the world by storm when it debuted in 2015, and quickly went on to become a major cultural touchstone. Of course, not everyone has the means to hit up a Broadway show, so when rumors of a Hamilton film became a reality, people lost their minds all over again. And, with the movie's debut on Disney+ on July 3, you can bet that everyone who missed out on seeing the original cast (or who just wanted to relive the magic) made sure they had access to Hamilton, which caused an insane spike in the number of Disney+ subscribers.
Hamilton fans have continued to go crazy for the mega-hit several years after the original cast of principal actors has moved on to other projects. The original production of the hip hop musical, which won an impressive 11 Tony Awards (and a Pulitzer...and a Grammy), was filmed over three days in 2016 to catch the magic of that first cast in action, and it's an almost certainty that having those actors in the film really clinched viewers' desire to sign up for Disney+ to join in on the fun.
According to the analytics firm Apptopia (via Variety), this led to a 74% increase in Disney+ downloads over the average downloads for the four weekends in June, with each weekend period being considered Friday through Sunday. This translates to the Disney+ app being downloaded 458,796 times in the United States alone, with total worldwide downloads reaching 752,451.
While this kind of increase for one weekend is already very good news for Disney, Apptopia's VP of insights and global alliances, Adam Blacker, pointed out that the real number of the subscriber increase is likely way higher, seeing as how they only measure mobile phone downloads, and not subscriber data for those who accessed Disney+ through Smart TVs or online. In addition, the worldwide download number doesn't include India or Japan, because the freshman streaming service is delivered through other, preexisting, apps in those countries.
Disney paid quite the pretty penny for the right to give us a big screen version of Hamilton, and while its original October 2021 theatrical release was scrapped in favor of having it air (much, much sooner) on Disney+, it's pretty clear that the strategy worked out well for the streamer.
The filmed production got pretty much glowing reviews from critics, and anyone who's been paying attention to social media over the weekend will likely know that everyone and their momma seemed to be watching and reacting to the movie online. With everyone from regular folks to celebrities being taken with the movie, and talking about every aspect of the performances, even the preponderance of spit coming from one Mr. Jonathan Groff as he worked the stage while playing King George.
With all the good news for Disney+ and the social media fanfare over Hamilton, it will be interesting to see how many of the new subscribers stick around once they've had their fill of the reimagined history lesson. It's true that there's a ton of content on Disney+, but if you came just for Hamilton, you might not be inclined to keep the service for very long, especially with it lacking the constant stream of other made-for-the-service content that truly can't be found anywhere else.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest on Hamilton and everything else in movies and TV, including 2020's new releases!
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