Great success! “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” was watched by “tens of millions” of customers in its opening weekend, Amazon Studios said on Tuesday.
Without giving more specific numbers, Amazon did say that 1 million+ fans watched the film during a watch party on Thursday, October 22 event that featured star Sacha Baron Cohen and coincided with the presidential debate.
“Sacha has masterfully created one of the most well received films of these unprecedented times – showcasing some of the best and the worst of us, wrapped in one outrageous moment after another. But at its core, ‘Borat 2’ is a heartwarming story of a father daughter relationship and of female empowerment seen through a hysterical, satirical lens. With the tremendous launch of this global, tentpole movie, it’s clear our customers around the world want content that is both relevant and entertaining,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement.
Amazon Prime Video has over 150 million subscribers globally, and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” currently has an 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
For reference, the original “Borat” from 2006 opened to $26.4 million in limited release and went on to make $262.5 million worldwide as word of mouth about the comedy grew.
The “Borat” sequel opened globally on Friday, Oct. 23, and the movie was teased with Borat balloons floating down rivers in London, New York, Toronto and in Rio, and in Sydney Borat lookalikes dressed in Baron Cohen’s signature mankinis that have now become “maskinis” as per the joke in the film around the coronavirus.
There was also a live stream event on Twitch that has been viewed by more than 1 million people, the highest live viewership of any branded stream on Twitch.
At the same time, the “Borat” sequel has been the subject of enormous controversy and attention. Prior to the film’s release, Amazon was hit with a lawsuit from one of the film’s subjects, a Holocaust survivor who has since passed away, that has since been dismissed. The Kazakh American Association called on Amazon to cancel the film, accusing it of “racism, cultural appropriation and xenophobia.” And of course the film features a compromising scene with the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who can be seen in the film with his hands down his pants while in a hotel room with Borat’s daughter, played by Maria Bakalova.
Giuliani has denied that he was doing anything inappropriate, saying that he was lying on the bed to remove a microphone he had put on during an interview, and called the scene a “fabrication.”
The film is a follow-up to the 2006 comedy and finds Borat returning to America, this time in the hopes of delivering his daughter as a gift to Vice President Mike Pence.