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Disney+ Claims An Early Victory Over HBO Max In The Streaming Wars

HBO Max Disney Plus
Who would win in a fight between Wonder Woman and Luke Skywalker? Now that the holiday season is over, we may have our answer… Disney+
As families hunkered down at home during Christmas weekend, both Disney+ and HBO Max saw record numbers of installations of their apps on mobile devices, but the clear winner was Disney+. According to market research outlet Sensor Tower, Disney+ was downloaded on an astounding 2.3 million mobile devices during the holiday weekend. These numbers were no doubt buoyed by the Christmas Day debut of Pixar’s Soul and (SPOILER!) Luke Skywalker’s cameo in the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian. This uptick in downloads brought the total number of worldwide Disney+ users to over 85 million.
Not content to let the House of Mouse have all the fun, HBO Max hosted the debut of Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984. Following a wave of social media buzz and mixed reviews, WW84 debuted on Christmas Day also and lassoed HBO Max another 550,000 unique users, including a single-day record of 244,000 on December 27th, according to tracking service Apptopia. The record weekend puts total downloads of HBO Max at just over 12 million.
HBO Max Disney Plus

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What does this mean for the future of films debuting on streaming services?
Wonder Woman 1984 and Soul were both released in theaters alongside their streaming debuts, but amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and limited theater openings, both films suffered meager box office hauls. WW84 claimed an opening weekend of $16.7 million, a figure that pales in comparison to the original film’s 2017 opening weekend of $103 million. Soul, meanwhile, brought in only $7.6 million in its international theatrical release despite openings in China, Malaysia, and parts of Europe.
As studios look for ways to turn profits during the pandemic, film debuts on streaming platforms appear to be an increasingly viable way to do so. According to MarketWatch, stocks in Warner Bros.’ parent company AT&T (NYSE:T) have taken a bump as analysts and investors alike laud the multi-platform release of Wonder Woman 1984. Disney’s stock, meanwhile, hit a one month high on December 31st. To the chagrin of Dune director Denis Villeneuve, it seems streaming debuts may be here to stay.
What are your thoughts on big budget films debuting on streaming platforms? Sound off in the comments below or find us on Twitter at @LRM_Exclusive and Instagram at @LRMExclusive.
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