After launching on Disney+ on Christmas Eve, the feature became the fastest title on the platform to hit 200 million hours of viewing time, Disney said. The film has earned a Golden Globe and many other honors, including three Oscar nominations. “Bruno” has gone to #1 in the U.S. and other countries, and has become a Tiktok phenomenon.
“We’d love for theatrical to come back for family movies — we hope it does — but if it doesn’t, we know we’re very secure in being able to use our own platform, Disney+, to help [build a franchise],” Chapek added.
Disney reported 11.8 million new Disney+ subscribers in the quarter ending January 1, beating analyst expectations by almost five million, and forecast continued strong growth in the coming year. Total global subscribers now stand at 129.8 million. Income from theme parks and resorts also hit a record $7.2 billion, exceeding even pre-pandemic levels.
The report contrasts with Netflix’s underwhelming recent quarter, which spread doubt about the long-term profitability of the streaming business and sent the company’s value crashing. Disney’s shares, on the other hand, popped around 8% in after-hours trading yesterday.
Chapek has often affirmed streaming’s centrality in his strategy. Early in his tenure, he restructured the company in such a way that films are no longer bound for theaters by default. Announcing his three “strategic pillars” for Disney’s success last month, he said of consumers:
Right now, their behavior tells us and our industry that the way they want to experience entertainment is changing — and changing fast thanks to technology and the pandemic. We must evolve with our audience, not work against them.