Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island have never achieved much in the way of commercial success, despite being responsible for some of the best and most underrated comedies of the 21st Century. Both Hot Rod and MacGruber are firmly established as cult favorites, but neither of them managed to even recoup their budgets at the box office and weren’t exactly particularly expensive to produce, either, at $25 million and $10 million respectively.
Popstar: Never Stop Popping, meanwhile, continued their unfortunate track record of failure after earning less than $10 million globally despite receiving widespread acclaim as one of the few musical mockumentaries that even comes anywhere close to being mentioned in the same breath as This is Spinal Tap, while ‘visual poem’ The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience was dumped on Netflix to little fanfare last year.
The latest movie from the trio’s Lonely Island Classics company may have suffered a similar fate had it been released into theaters, but with the Coronavirus pandemic keeping doors firmly locked around the world, Palm Springs instead became Hulu’s most-watched original film ever just three days after debuting, and has only continued to rack up impressive numbers in the three weeks since.
A modern spin on the well-trodden Groundhog Day formula, Palm Springs lived up to the expectations of being the most expensive purchase in the history of the Sundance Film Festival where Hulu shelled out a cool $17.5 million for the rights, quickly gaining a reputation as one of the year’s best comedies and going down a storm with critics, where it currently holds an impressive 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 84 on Metacritic.
After suffering a constant string of bombs, taking their unique talents to streaming has worked out pretty well for The Lonely Island, with Palm Springs now set to spend the summer as one of the most talked-about comedies out there.