Here Are the Most-Watched Streaming Movies of 2020
In a world where the box office charts are dominated by old movies like Jurassic Park and Hocus Pocus, it is very hard to tell what new films — if any! — are popular these days. Viewership numbers about films released on streaming are particularly scarce.
However Variety has an interesting top ten list of the “most-watched SVOD released movies” of 2020. The data comes from ScreenEngine/ASI, which took a survey of home video viewers to compile the list. Here is their top five:
Interestingly, Mulan — arguably the biggest Hollywood blockbuster of 2020 originally planned for theaters that instead went to VOD because of the coronavirus pandemic — isn’t among the top five. (It ranks sixth, behind two other Disney+ films.) Rather than offer Mulan to all Disney+ subscribers, the company charged $30 for “Premier Access” to watch it early on Disney+. (Make of it what you will, but when Pixar’s Soul appears on Disney+ next month, it will come sans upcharge and thus far, no other Disney titles have gotten the “Premier Access” treatment.)
Looking over this list, I wonder... does it feel like the biggest streaming movies of the year? In some ways yes, in some ways no. Certainly Hamilton got a lot of attention over the summer, and Borat has grabbed a ton of headlines in the last few weeks thanks to its cameo appearance by Rudy Giuliani. There have been similar reports that Extraction garnered massive viewership numbers for Netflix, and anecdotally I actually had conversations with numerous people about the film. On the other hand, I don’t know anyone who’s watched My Spy. But, again, that’s just anecdotal.
And maybe that’s all this is. It would be great if we had definitive comprehensive numbers for this stuff. Given how competitive the streaming space is, and how valuable viewership data is as a result, it seems unlikely we’ll ever get it.
Gallery — The Best Animated Shorts on Disney+: