Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' underwhelms on Disney+ as 'Hamilton' holds strong, data shows

Alexandra Canal
·3 min read

Beyoncé visual album, “Black Is King,” made its much-anticipated debut on Disney+ (DIS) on July 31. But despite the Blue Ivy Carter cameos and hit song ‘Brown Skin Girl’ (which won a BET award), users seemed to favor ‘Hamilton’ over the newly released film.

According to exclusive data provided by analytics platform 7Park, the top Disney+ titles between August 1 and August 3 included “Incredibles 2,” “Frozen 2,” “Muppets Now,” and “Hamilton” — with “Black Is King” finishing the weekend at number 10, attracting less than 4% of total Disney+ users.

(Source: 7Park Data)
(Source: 7Park Data)

Meanwhile, “Hamilton” — which made its debut on July 3 — continues to dominate.

On average time spent on the Disney+ platform, users dedicated 22% of their time watching “Hamilton,” compared to only 2.2% for ‘Black Is King’

The success of “Hamilton” has prompted Disney to look at other musicals that could potentially be adapted for the platform.

“Once On This Island” is one show that is reportedly being pursued — although others could easily follow suit as Broadway’s coronavirus shutdown remains in effect through 2021.

Live-action ‘Mulan’ film heads to Disney+

(Source: 7Park)
(Source: 7Park)

Disney+ is expected to receive a sizable boost from its live-action “Mulan” film. On its second quarter earnings call, the company announced that the movie will now bypass the theatrical experience entirely and head straight to the streamer as a premium video on demand (PVOD). The offering will cost Disney + subscribers $30, and will be available on September 4th.

Disney’s stock surged on the news — rising over 8% at Wednesday’s close.

It’s a somewhat surprising move for the company, which had been holding out hope for a theatrical release since April.

However, if successful, the PVOD option is one that could permanently alter Disney’s strategy when it comes to future film releases. The company would retain 100% of the profits, as opposed to the 60/40 split that typically occurs when a studio film is released in the theater.

Investor sentiment was further buoyed by the company’s announcement that it now has 100 million paid subscribers across its various streaming channels — with the bulk of its subscriber base stemming from Disney+.

As of the end of the third quarter on June 27, Disney+ subscribers rose to 57.5 million — an impressive feat in an already crowded streaming landscape.

But the positive streaming news could mean more problems for smaller theater chains.

The “Mulan” announcement follows NBCUniversal (CMCSA) and AMC’s (AMC) newly inked deal, which will allow the studio’s films to be made available as a PVOD option after just 17 days in the theater, including three weekends.

MoffettNathanson’s Michael Nathanson said in a recent note that “PVOD will likely dampen movie attendance.”

He explained: “If consumers are trained to wait only a few weeks to watch the movie at home, especially while increased COVID-19 risks still exist, we worry that the near-term impact on attendance can be more substantial and consumers in the long run will continue to opt to watch more non-blockbuster films in their homes going forward.”

With theaters already under pressure from the coronavirus, “the number of screens in the U.S. [will] start to shrink as owners refocus on protecting their most profitable multiplex locations, which will hurt the overall exhibition industry,” Nathanson added.

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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