Greyhound, Tom Hanks’ new World War II drama, has just earned the biggest ever opening weekend for any film or TV series on Apple TV+. According to Deadline, the pic has had an opening comparable to that of a summer hit, though exact figures on its return weren’t given. They add that 30% of Greyhound’s viewers were new to the service, indicating that it’s been successful in attracting additional subscribers as well.
It’s an eye-catching headline, but I would add a couple of caveats. Firstly, though this has been the biggest opening for an Apple TV+ film, one should remember that the service has only been up and running since November, and Greyhound is only its third original movie. Successful opening weekend? Yes, but given its lack of competition, that doesn’t say much on its own. Furthermore, the Apple sources hyping up the success of its launch are likely to exaggerate it to some degree (particularly given that they’re so unforthcoming with their fabled numbers).
That all said, there’s undeniable business sense to commend behind this. Some internet penhand commending the business sense of a trillion dollar company? I’m sure they needed the pat on the back. But here goes.
Apple bought the rights to Greyhound when the pandemic precluded Sony’s originally planned theatrical release. Their thinking? Release a new Tom Hanks movie on streaming to a stuck-at-home audience starved of content. Of course this was going to be a hit.
It’s taken Apple 9 months, but they may just have broken their baby streamer into the market. Now all they have to do is fight off the competition from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, CBS All Access… you get the picture.