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In the last few days, the movie world has been abuzz with one particular name: Borat. The Sacha Baron Cohen character saw his second film launch this past weekend on Amazon Prime, and its widespread viewership was evident just in the amount of chatter it stirred up online. Of course, it's been a bit harder to calculate its success since it's on a streaming service instead of the box office, but now Amazon has provided a round figure to chew on and marvel at.
While the numbers provided aren't exactly specific, Amazon has announced that Borat 2 a.k.a. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was streamed by tens of millions of customers during its first weekend – which began with a virtual watch party that featured a dance party with the titular Kazakh reporter. According to the company, more than a million fans tuned into that event alone.
So how does that debut stack up against other major streaming launches from this fall – for example, Disney+'s Mulan? Well, it's a bit hard to say given that the streaming numbers aren't nearly as clear as box office figures and not uniformly reported, but based on the statistics that have launched it definitely looks like the raunchy comedy was watched by way more people in its first few days than the family adventure film (though it is important to note that Mulan had a handicap of a $30 price tag in addition to standard Disney+ streaming service fees).
In mid-September, which is to say a couple weeks after Mulan's Labor Day weekend launch, it was reported that just under 30 percent of households in the United States with a Disney+ subscription opted to purchase access to the film, which roughly translates to about 9 million accounts. Compared to the numbers presented by Amazon, Borat 2 has already outpaced those numbers within a much shorter time frame.
That being said, that has also been alternative reporting of the figures. Variety has numbers provided by TV analytics provider Samba TV, and they say that Mulan played in 1.2 million households vs. Borat 2 playing in an estimated 1.6 million. Those are vastly different stats than those above, but that's very much a side effect of the more privately controlled distribution model.
What will also obviously be interesting to track is how well Borat 2 continues to perform in the weeks ahead. Most blockbuster competition has vacated from release dates in November, and it's worth noting that when the first Borat was released in 2006 it stayed at number one at the box office for two weeks, and remained in the top 10 for nearly a month.
As long as movie theater closures remain a thing, streaming ratings for major movies will continue to remain an interesting subject, so stay tuned for all of the latest here on CinemaBlend.