In our July preview of Disney+, we highlighted the July 3rd debut of ‘Hamilton’, a Broadway production brought to life by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Broadway-to-Big Screen “theatrical” release joined the ranks of Disney’s extended catalog which includes a slew of new films produced exclusively for Disney+. ‘Hamilton’ was a massive success over this past weekend and brought in a whole new audience for the downloadable app.
According to Variety, “From Friday through Sunday, the Disney Plus app was downloaded 513,323 times globally, including 266,084 times in the U.S., according to analytics firm Apptopia”. With Disney paying a colossus $75 million for the film rights in February, they are surely relieved by the results of the release. Disney+ subscriptions have shifted from being a nice new revenue source for The Walt Disney Company to one of the few remaining sources of income during the pandemic. You can sign up for Disney+ for $6.99 per month or $69.99 for a yearly subscription. They also have a package available that includes Hulu and ESPN.
The film was shot with six-cameras back in 2016 and was directed by Tommy Kail, who also directs the Broadway version. ‘Hamilton’ was slated for a true theatrical release before being shifted to Disney+ during the Covid-19 pandemic and it is still unknown if the film will be released in movie theaters in Oct 2021, the original release date. Disney certainly has missed out on some revenue with the lack of a release in theaters but ‘Hamilton’ certainly delivered on a broad scale.
Apptopia’s VP of insights and global alliances, Adam Blacker, also noted that the ‘Hamilton’ bump is larger than the 72% would even suggest saying “In terms of net subscriber gains, the “Hamilton” bump for Disney Plus was certainly higher than the mobile app data reflects, given that people could sign up for the service online and through smart TVs (and may not have also downloaded it on mobile”.
Next on the docket for Disney+ is the July 31st release of ‘Black is King’, Beyoncé’s visual album. The film is based on the music of “The Lion King: The Gift,” released last year in conjunction with the Disney pic, and stars the album’s featured artists and some special guest appearances. The Beyoncé-produced album features Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, 070 Shake, Tierra Whack, Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter and Jessie Reyez, as well as African artists including Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Busiswa and Salatiel. (Variety)