Sacha Baron Cohen did it again — with Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (directed by Jason Woliner) — during a time when no one thought it possible for blockbuster movies to ride high in the United States. Nearly everyone I spoke with over the weekend (from a distance) watched the movie, so it’s easy to guess that it’s already a hit for Amazon, which can rightfully claim the movie as their first original tentpole. Even the Kazakhstan tourism board has given into Baron Cohen’s charm, and he’s received more good news today of a toppled lawsuit against the film. How are the numbers looking, though?
Amazon hasn’t released specifics, but they’re claiming a massive number, which might be possible (people are stuck at home and want to laugh, the weather’s getting colder, and new movie offerings are sparse). The streamer revealed on Tuesday that the film was viewed by “tens of million of customers” (out of a total of 150+ Prime members globally) over the weekend. Imagine if those were movie tickets sold? There’s gotta be studio heads looking at these numbers and pressing for similar streaming deals.
Here’s an Amazon Studios statement that’ll make everyone forgive Bruno‘s existence, via Hollywood Reporter:
“Sacha has masterfully created one of the most well received films of these unprecedented times — showcasing some of the best and the worst of us, wrapped in one outrageous moment after another. But at its core, Borat 2 is a heartwarming story of a father daughter relationship and of female empowerment seen through a hysterical, satirical lens. With the tremendous launch of this global, tentpole movie, it’s clear our customers around the world want content that is both relevant and entertaining.”
Two months after Baron Cohen was spotted in Borat attire in Long Beach, it’s all happened so fast. And October turned out to be the perfect time to release Borat 2, not only in terms of the pandemic calendar but because Baron Cohen can manage to be both relevant and funny. The last few days ahead of release were intense, too, with all the details of the Rudy Giuliani portion finding their way online, along with Borat’s response to Rudy’s explanation and Cohen’s out-of-character remarks.