With the streaming community significantly more crowded now than it was a year ago, the platforms are all being forced to fight a little harder to get attention. Disney+ got Hamilton. HBO Max got Friends and Doctor Who. Peacock got a 30 Rock reunion thing. Now Apple TV+ has its own thing, and its apparently wildly successful. We’re referring to Tom Hanks’ submarine movie Greyhound, which lost its theatrical run because of the coronavirus but premiered on Apple TV+ a few days ago. Hanks himself wasn’t especially happy about that, but it seems like Apple users were more than happy to pick up their extremely terrible Apple TV remotes and swipe their fingers over to the Greyhound page this weekend (after turning the remote around, of course, because it looks exactly the same on both ends and you can’t tell if you’re picking up the right side without feeling for the buttons).
According to Deadline, Greyhound has enjoyed the “largest opening weekend release ever” for Apple’s relatively new streaming platform, and while that may not sound like much—because what else would have had a big weekend release?—it does include everything that launched with Apple TV+. In other words, Greyhound’s release was bigger for Apple TV+ than the launch of Apple TV+, suggesting that the key to drawing subscribers to your streaming platform is… paying a lot of money for the exclusive rights to a big-budget war movie starring one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors. Alright, that’s kind of a tall order, so this particular success might be hard to replicate, but every other platform—like say… Quibi—just needs to find its equivalent of Tom Hanks’ submarine movie.
In terms of strict numbers, Deadline says that Apple refused to offer anything of that sort, but its sources say that Greyhound’s viewership numbers were “commensurate with a summer theatrical box office big hit.” If we’re talking this summer, that means literally nothing, but it sure sounds impressive.