Prey, the latest movie in the Predator franchise, has just set two new world records – one on Hulu and one on Disney Plus.
Revealed by 20th Century Studios, the company that produced the sci-fi action-horror film, Prey – be sure to read our spoiler-free Prey review if you haven’t already – has become the biggest premiere on Hulu since the streaming service launched in October 2007. That makes Prey the most-watched Hulu project of all-time, meaning no other film or TV series can hold a candle to it.
Not content with smashing that record on Hulu, though, Prey also set a new movie record on Disney Plus. The Predator prequel film – although director Dan Trachtenberg doesn’t refer to it as such – is the most watched film premiere on Disney Plus Star, as well as Star Plus in Latin America. Prey, then, holds the number one film spot on Disney Plus in non-US territories, too.
#PreyMovie is the #1 premiere on @Hulu to date, including all film and TV series debuts. It is also the most watched film premiere on Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ under the Star Banner in all other territories, based on hours watched in the first 3 days of its release. pic.twitter.com/cgB63tf2LlAugust 9, 2022Ads
As 20th Century Studios’ tweet reveals, Prey’s wild success is based on the number of hours watched in the three days after its August 5 release. Disney and 20th Century Studios declined to provide official viewing figures for Prey – like most streamers, such data isn’t publicly available for any project released by Disney or its subsidiaries.
Even so, Prey’s overnight success story is one to applaud. The fifth film in the Predator series was up against some serious competition over the weekend (August 5-6), with The Sandman on Netflix, Thirteen Lives on Prime Video, and Luck on Apple TV Plus all launching on the same date. This snippet of data, then, proves it held its own against that trio.
Given how popular it has been, it’s only a matter of time before a Prey sequel is greenlit. Speaking exclusively to TechRadar ahead of Prey’s release, Trachtenberg teased that he had some “fun ideas” for a follow-up. You can read more about that, and learn more about Prey’s development and authentic portrayal of Comanche people and their cultures, in our in-depth Prey interview feature.
Analysis: hunting for that all-important streaming data
As impressive as Prey’s success on Hulu and Disney Plus has been, we’re still in the dark about how many people actually watched it.
Okay, the fact that it holds top spot in different categories on these two streamers is something to celebrate. There’s plenty of great content on both platforms, including top tier Disney Plus films and other brilliant Hulu movies. Prey’s usurping of similar projects, then, shouldn’t be overlooked.
Still, without that all-important viewing figure data, we can’t determine how successful Prey has been. How many people streamed it? Did every viewer watch it right through to the end? Are there any Hulu or Disney Plus subscribers who watched it more than once last weekend, which will have boosted its numbers?
Unfortunately, we’ll never know. As we mentioned earlier, Disney doesn’t provide this data to the public, so we’re in the dark over how well Prey did.
Of course, Disney isn’t the only studio that withholds that information. Amazon Studios doesn’t provide official data either; the corporation following in Disney’s footsteps and only telling us when a Prime Video show or movie has secured the number one spot in their respective categories.
Less popular streamers, such as Paramount Plus, don’t provide official viewing figures either. And neither does HBO Max or Apple TV Plus, with Ben Stiller – creator of hit Apple TV Plus show Severance – recently telling Decider (opens in new tab) that it’s “really weird” to him that Apple doesn’t provide him with that data at the very least.
The only streamer that regularly provides public data is Netflix. Even then, the world’s biggest streaming company only reveals some of that information – i.e. the number of hours viewed – when it updates its in-house Top 10 lists (opens in new tab) every week.
It’s understandable why some streaming companies may be hesitant to make viewing figures public. Doing so would confirm how well (or not so well) a new film or TV series did, which isn’t good for a company’s image if its projects misfire over and over again. Still, the streaming industry needs to be more transparent when it comes to its viewing figures. Fans want to see if their favorite shows have performed well to stand a chance of being renewed. If streaming companies released this data, too, it would end criticism that they’re too secretive as organizations. Let’s hope, then, that such a day arrives soon.
For more Prey-based coverage, find out how the Predator prequel movie contains an odd quirk for the film franchise.