It’s been a great year for streaming—and pretty much nothing else so far—as various film companies have flocked to online distribution as a way to make the most of various properties that would otherwise have been sent to America’s now largely empty theaters. The year has seen a few different big streaming success stories, most notably the release of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton on Disney+, still the most successful online movie of the year. But the second-place finisher is proving to be just as telling about the national mood: We might all love watching the founding fathers rap about their various cabinet meetings and sexual infidelities, but it turns out that we also love a hearty “Mah spouse!” as well.
Which is to say: Variety reports today that Amazon’s Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm has just become the second-most streamed film of 2020, as viewers flock to see their old pal Borat expose racism/anti-Semitism/Rudy Giuliani’s untucked shirtdick to the world. That’s per a firm called ScreenEngine/ASI, which used polling data—god, are we not sick of polling data right now—to determine that Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film was the second-most streamed thing in the country in 2020. That lines up with Amazon’s own databrags about the release, which claimed that it was watched by “tens of millions” of customers shortly after its October 23 premiere.
Third place on the list was Dave Bautista’s My Spy (also at Amazon), followed by Netflix’s Extraction. The list also, obviously doesn’t take into account the big streaming releases coming down the pike in the next two months, including Amazon’s Coming 2 America, and Disney+’s prospective Christmas Day release of Pixar’s Soul. Still, though: Our warmest congratulations to both Baron Cohen and Borat; these are the kinds of results that can’t help but evoke a hearty “Very acceptable outcome!” from even the coldest of hearts.