If someone had asked you at the start of 2020 whether Disney’s family-friendly live-action remake of Mulan or Sacha Baron Cohen’s frequently shocking Borat 2 would come closer to starting a major international incident, you’d have no doubt gone for the latter. However, we’ve been having the kind of year where Niki Caro’s $200 million historical epic was coming under fire from all corners for publicly thanking a Chinese region accused of human rights violations, with the U.S. Senate even getting involved.
The surprise return of intrepid Kazakh reporter Borat Sagdiyev has also made waves in political circles, but that has a lot more to do with Rudy Giuliani getting caught with his hands down his pants than anything else. On the surface, these films couldn’t be any more different, but based on a recent study, it looks like Mulan and Borat 2 will share the distinction of being two of the year’s most popular streaming exclusives.
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According to Samba TV, Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm was seen by over 1.5 million households in the United States in the first weekend it was available, while the software app’s data puts Mulan at a little over 1.1 million. Of course, the Borat sequel has the benefit of being free to all Amazon Prime customers, while the Mouse House’s latest remake was locked behind the $29.99 Premier Access paywall.
Samba TV’s sample size is very limited and only stretches to 3.4 million households, and even then they only track the data on internet connected televisions, so phone and browser views aren’t counted. Still, as a brand new movie free to Amazon customers, Borat 2 was inevitably going to rack up a huge amount of viewers, even those who didn’t care for the first installment and wanted to see what all the fuss was about the second time around.