Two massive movies debuted on streaming services over the weekend in the forms of Soul and Wonder Woman 1984. Pixar's latest found itself skipping theaters in favor of an exclusive debut on Disney+, while Gal Gadot's latest adventure as the famed DC superhero was released both in theaters and on HBO Max. Both releases provided a boost to these streaming services but, in the end, initial data suggests it was Disney who came out on top.
According to a new report, both Soul and Wonder Woman 1984 resulted in a spike for their respective streaming services. However, it was Pixar's Soul that provided the larger bump for Disney+. Apptopia and Sensor Tower tallied mobile app downloads for both Disney+ and HBO Max. An estimated 2.3 million installations of the Disney+ app were registered globally following the release of Soul. That represents a 28 percent increase from the prior weekend. Meanwhile, an estimated 554,000 downloads were registered for HBO Max with the release of Wonder Woman 1984. There is a clear winner, in terms of raw numbers here. But it's not so simple as all of that.
First off, Disney+ is available in many countries around the world, whereas HBO Max is only available in the U.S. currently. That means Disney+ had more opportunity to attract subscribers and app downloads during the timeframe. It is also important to note that these numbers do not account for downloads and signups on smart TVs, gaming consoles, Amazon Fire TV devices or Roku devices. This is especially important as HBO Max was finally made available on Roku devices just ahead of Wonder Woman 1984's release.
Theaters come into play here as well. Wonder Woman 1984 earned $16 million at the domestic box office, the best debut for any movie since theaters first shut down earlier in the year. That means a certain chunk of viewers who might otherwise have turned to HBO Max watched it at a theater instead. Soul was purely available on Disney+ in the U.S.
Then there is the matter of each movie's reception. Critically speaking, Soul has the edge here. Pixar's latest, directed by Pete Docter, has a 95 percent critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Director Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984, on the other hand, sits at 62 percent. Audiences largely seem to agree. Soul boasts a 90 percent audience score, while Wonder Woman 1984 holds a 72 percent rating. It is also worth noting that Wonder Woman 1984 now stands as the lowest-rated DCEU movie on IMDB.
In the end, both releases probably count as a win for the studios. Warner Bros. gave the green light to Wonder Woman 3 before the weekend was over, for one. Plus, HBO Max had less than 13 million subscribers heading into the weekend. So a bump like this was not only welcome, but needed. Disney+ has had a monster year, with 87 million subscribers heading into last weekend. The major takeaway is that these major releases are attractive to potential customers. This news comes to us via Bloomberg.