HBO Max’s day-and-date premiere of “Wonder Woman 1984” the week of Christmas 2020 lassoed significantly more viewing time than any other streaming title for the period, according to Nielsen revised estimates.
Previously, Nielsen had said Pixar’s “Soul” on Disney Plus, which bowed Christmas Day alongside Warner Bros.’ superhero sequel “Wonder Woman 1984,” was the most-viewed on its Top 10 streaming ranking for Dec. 21-27, 2020.
But evidently, WarnerMedia threw a red flag and called for a video review. On Friday, Nielsen said it worked with the media conglomerate to estimate “Wonder Woman 1984” viewing and — lo and behold — found that the Gal Gadot-starrer overwhelmingly outperformed other content: The movie amassed nearly 2.3 billion minutes viewed among U.S. viewers, about 35% more than “Soul.”
Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings don’t regularly measure HBO Max at this point. The “WW84” estimate is “a one-time view as we work toward introducing the data externally,” a Nielsen rep said.
“Wonder Woman 1984” was a key tentpole event for HBO Max. AT&T said the movie helped the streaming service double activations in Q4, to 17.2 million. The movie, like Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, has vanished from HBO Max, having left the service Jan. 24. To try to keep the SVOD flywheel spinning, WarnerMedia is releasing every single movie on the Warner Bros. 2021 slate day-and-date on HBO Max and in theaters, available to stream for a 31-day window. It was an aggressive move that surprised the industry.
WarnerMedia is banking on a regular cadence of first-run films to continue HBO Max subscriber momentum. On Friday, the company announced that director Zack Snyder’s new version of 2017’s “Justice League” — the once-mythical “Snyder Cut” — will premiere on HBO Max on March 18.
“As was announced on Wednesday during our earnings and as this Nielsen data shows, [‘Wonder Woman 1984’] was a huge holiday gift to the consumer at a time when they wanted and needed it,” Andy Forssell, EVP and GM of HBO Max, said in a statement. “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.”
Data for the rest of Nielsen’s streaming Top 10 for the week of Dec. 21-17 remains the same, the company said. At the No. 3 spot was “The Office,” the overall most-streamed TV show in 2020, continuing strong numbers in its second-to-last week on Netflix (before moving to its new exclusive nest at Peacock on Jan. 1).
Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” the sexed-up Regency England-set drama from Shonda Rhimes, was in fourth place. The streamer this week claimed 82 million member households watched the show in its first 28 days of release, making it the most-watched original series to date (based on a proprietary metric tallying subs who watch a title for at least 2 minutes). Netflix has ordered a second season of “Bridgerton,” slated to start production this spring.
Here are Nielsen’s revised SVOD rankings for the week of Dec. 21-27, 2020:
- “Wonder Woman 1984” (HBO Max) (movie) – 2.252 billion minutes
- “Soul” (Disney Plus) (movie) – 1.669 billion minutes
- “The Office” (Netflix) (192 episodes) – 1.435 billion minutes
- “Bridgerton” (Netflix) (8 episodes) – 1.204 billion minutes
- “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix) (movie) – 1.113 billion minutes
- “The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus) (16 episodes) – 1.024 billion minutes
- “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” (Netflix) (movie) – 705 million minutes
- “The Crown” (Netflix) (40 episodes) – 700 million minutes
- “Grey’s Anatomy” (Netflix) (366 episodes) – 691 million minutes
- “Christmas Chronicles 2” (Netflix) (movie) – 660 million minutes
The Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings service, launched in 2017, currently provides syndicated data measuring Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus. Nielsen’s estimates are extrapolated based on viewing data on connected TVs, excluding mobile devices and computers, pulled from Nielsen’s national TV panel.
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