Last weekend, a few anticipated films dropped on streaming and in theaters. Amazon’s Coming 2 America was one of them with so much riding on its success thirty years after the original film. All the promotion – interviews, commercials, internet campaigns, etc. – seemingly paid off big for the company. According to Amazon, the viewership for the comedy sequel was huge.
According to Deadline, Amazon reported the comedy sequel came in as the number one streamed movie, topping its nearest rival SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run from Paramount+. Amazon pointed to Screen Engine/ASI’s VOD weekend rankings, which combines streaming, PVOD and VOD data. While the total amount of viewership remains unknown, the company claimed Coming 2 America has the number one opening weekend for any streaming film in 2021 as well as the number one opening for any streaming film since the pandemic began.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and fans, Coming 2 America was a runaway success, according to Amazon. Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke thanked everyone involved with the film while rejoicing over its connection with audiences:
The Zamunda Royal family has arrived and audiences around the globe welcomed them enthusiastically! The premiere of Coming 2 America has far exceeded any of our wildest expectations. It’s clear an entire new generation of fans have joined the enormous loyal fanbase who already adored the magical world created by global phenom Eddie Murphy, the incredibly talented filmmaking team and the hilarious, all-star cast of existing and newly-cemented legends. Coming 2 America is the perfectly fun, celebratory, escapist, feel-good comedy movie that worldwide audiences needed.
If you understand the cultural impact of the original Coming to America, then Amazon’s viewership claims aren’t off base. Coming 2 America was a sequel three decades in the making. Having most of the original cast come back for the sequel was a big pull for audiences. So nostalgia was key to the sequel’s success. The ground for success was already set as the original film was a rite of passage for many families, especially for those in Black America. It has remained a standard of Black love in the romantic comedy genre, despite some recent shocking revelations. While the sequel might not have the same impact as the original, it did provide a new spin on a classic for a new generation.
But Coming 2 America’s reported success paved the way for the third Coming to America Eddie Murphy teased recently. Given the number of years he suggested for the next film, it might be a while before that sequel happens. One can hope that the next film will introduce a new twist given how things ended for King Akeem, Lavelle and the Zamunda Royal family. If you want to catch both films, just make your way over to Prime Video.