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Now Nielsen has put some data behind the claims: The ratings service says the movie racked up huge audiences on its opening weekend, becoming the biggest feature film in Nielsen’s rankings — and one of the biggest streaming titles of any kind since Nielsen launched its streaming measurement.
For the week of Dec. 21-27, HBO Max users spent 2.25 billion minutes watching Wonder Woman 1984 (it was released Christmas Day). That’s equivalent to about 14.9 million complete plays of the 151-minute movie. It’s also 580 million minutes more than Nielsen’s previously reported No. 1 for the week, Pixar’s Soul on Disney+ (1.67 billion minutes), and the third highest weekly total for any title since Nielsen began releasing weekly streaming numbers in August 2020.
Following the movie’s release, HBO Max said nearly half of its retail subscribers had watched the movie on its premiere day.
Nielsen doesn’t yet regularly include HBO Max in its weekly rankings, although it does count WarnerMedia as a client. The ratings service says that the release of viewing figures for Wonder Woman 1984 is a one-time-only view “as we work toward introducing the data externally” (there’s no timetable for HBO Max to be a regular part of the streaming rankings).
“The impact of Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max cannot be understated,” said HBO Max executive vp and general manager Andy Forssell. “As was announced on Wednesday during our earnings and as this Nielsen data shows, it was a huge holiday gift to the consumer at a time when they wanted and needed it. This partnership with Warner Bros. of course continues throughout the year but it began with Wonder Woman’s arrival on Christmas Day to great success.”
The big Nielsen numbers for Wonder Woman 1984 also track with an audience survey by Hollywood research firm Screen Engine/ASI, which found that the movie had the biggest first week of any SVOD movie in 2020.
HBO Max currently has about 17.2 million “activated” users — meaning those who have downloaded the HBO Max app and started or upgraded a subscription. WarnerMedia and parent company AT&T say 37.7 million people have access to the streaming platform, including those who subscribe to HBO through a cable or satellite provider. Netflix, by contrast, has nearly 74 million paid subscribers in the United States and Canada and 203.7 million worldwide; Disney+ had 86.8 million global subscribers as of Dec. 2.
The revised streaming top 10 for Dec. 21-27 is below. Series and movies that are original to their platforms are marked with an asterisk.
1 (nr). Wonder Woman 1984* (HBO Max), 2.25 billion minutes viewed
2 (nr). Soul* (Disney+), 1.67 billion.
3 (2). The Office (Netflix), 1.44 billion
4 (nr). Bridgerton* (Netflix), 1.2 billion
5 (nr). The Midnight Sky* (Netflix), 1.11 billion
6 (1). The Mandalorian* (Disney+), 1.02 billion
7 (nr). How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Netflix), 705 million
8 (3). The Crown* (Netflix), 700 million
9 (4). Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix), 691 million
10 (nr). The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two* (Netflix), 660 million
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