“Raya and the Last Dragon” saw a huge spike in its streaming figures in the week that the film moved from being a Premier Access title on Disney+ to being available for free on the service, according to the latest figures from Nielsen.
Nielsen found that “Raya” was watched for 1.078 billion viewing minutes during the week of May 31-June 6, which made it the second-most-viewed streaming title for the week, behind only the series “Lucifer” on Netflix. And even though it only came in second, that’s a gigantic figure for any week. The week prior when it was still only available for $30 as a premium title, it was watched for 115 million minutes. What’s more, “Raya” went up in viewing 38% specifically for kids aged 2-11 between the two weeks.
Nielsen even notes that groups that waited for the reduced price tag look very similar in demographics compared to the audiences that chose to pay for it, though with slightly higher household income, a higher proportion of Hispanic homes and slightly more on the West Coast.
“Raya and the Last Dragon” debuted in theaters and on Disney+ day and date on March 5 but was only available to Disney+ subscribers through Premier Access, which charges an additional fee on top of the subscriber charge to Disney+ but gives viewers access to the film permanently rather than just as a VOD rental. It’s a model Disney used first for “Mulan” during the pandemic, then again for “Raya” and “Cruella” and again soon with next week’s “Black Widow.”
In its first three days in the week of March 1, “Raya” was watched for 355 million minutes and placed No. 4 for the week among movies, not even cracking the Top 10 of all streaming titles. That said, it also opened at the box office to $8.5 million before theaters had opened at full capacity, and it has since grossed $54 million domestic and $119.6 million total worldwide.
It begs the question if we’ll see a similar boost for something like “Cruella,” which debuted in early May and placed No. 3 among all movies during the week of May 31 on Nielsen’s list, logging 362 million viewing minutes. It trailed behind Netflix’s “Dog Gone Trouble,” which got 392 million minutes.
“Raya and the Last Dragon” also toppled Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead,” which landed in the top spot for each of the last two weeks but for May 31 fell to No. 6 and had only 250 million viewing minutes after the prior week logging 786 million.
Nielsen’s streaming figures still only look at shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ and are delayed by roughly a month.
You can view the full list of top streaming titles for the week here.