Several major blockbuster movies that were supposed to come out last year have been responding in different ways to the continuance of pandemic restrictions from 2020 to 2021. Some have rescheduled as far off as late this year. Others waited for US cinemas to open at some capacity, while also simultaneously premiering on this or that streaming platform. Still some have foregone ever opening in a movie-house and became exclusive streaming releases. Paramount Pictures’ “Coming 2 America,” sequel to the classic 1988 comedy starring Eddie Murphy, was given over to Amazon which released it on Prime Video last Thursday. According to them, it is now the biggest streaming movie premiere.
As IGN puts it, Amazon Prime just declared “Coming 2 America” from Paramount as the biggest movie premiere of this year, despite showing up on a streaming service instead of theaters. The digital streaming arm of the e-commerce giant noted that the research firm Screen Engine/ASI to survey viewership of their content on Prime Video over the past 12 months, which coincides with the beginning of COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic. Though they released no numerical statistics, Amazon says via Screen Engine/ASI that the Eddie Murphy distant sequel had a massive opening weekend viewership since premiering on March 4.
Without any concrete figures publicized, Amazon instead offers comparisons to other streaming film releases, both on their Prime Video platform and one of their competitors. The internal comparison is that “Coming 2 America” got more first-weekend views than Amazon original “Borat Subsequent MovieFilm,” which started streaming October 2020 and was touted to have gained “tens of millions” in views that month. Externally, this distant sequel for “Coming to America” had more viewers than the December streaming release of “Wonder Woman 1984” on HBO Max, which was claimed by that service to have doubled their subscribers.
“Coming 2 America” has Eddie Murphy reprise his original film role as Akeem, once-Prince and now-King of Zamunda in Africa. Compelled by his father’s dying wish to have a male heir (and his African-American queen having only borne daughters), Akeem returns to New York to find the son he had out of wedlock (Jermaine Fowler), in order to secure his own succession before General Izzi (Wesley Snipes) of the neighboring belligerent nation of Nextdoria decides to invade and annex Zamunda. It remains on streaming with Prime Video. Murphy has floated the possibility of a sequel, to be made when he reaches 75 years of age.
Image courtesy of Variety