Third-party streaming viewership stat org Samba TV reports this morning that 693k U.S. households watched In the Heights on HBO Max in their live 3-day window. The news comes in the wake of the Warner Bros. feature musical losing the No. 1 spot at the weekend B.O. to the third session of Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II, $11.5M to $12M.
That weekend draw for the Jon M. Chu-directed Lin-Manuel Miranda musical trails in comparison to other Warner Bros. movies that have hit HBO Max day-and-date with their theatrical release, i.e. Mortal Kombat (3.8M 3-day, $23.3M opening B.O.), Godzilla vs. Kong (3.6M 5-day, $48.1M 5-day B.O.), Wonder Woman 1984 (2.2M U.S. households 3-day, $16.7M opening B.O.) and last weekend’s Conjuring 3 (1.6M 3-day, $24.1M opening B.O.).
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Note Samba TV measures those who tuned in for at least five minutes in 3M households which have terrestrial smart TVs. Samba TV numbers don’t include mobile viewers, but it’s the best measurement we have in a world where streaming services stay quiet on their figures.
Warner Bros. President of domestic theatrical distribution Jeff Goldstein told the AP that whenever these Warner Bros. movies pop at the box office, they often equally translate as well in viewers on HBO Max. “Our experience, which is backed up on In the Heights, is that if the movie hits a high level in theaters, it hits a high level on the service,” Goldstein said. “If it hits a low level in theaters, it hits a low level on HBO Max. They’re really very comparable.”
The question becomes after such a soft opening for In the Heights and its availability on HBO Max, how long Warners can hold theaters as more movies respecting the theatrical window come down the pike. Warner Bros. sought to make In the Heights another pop at the box office for a diversity property after Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians. To the studio’s credit, they invested in P&A to open this movie, with industry P&A estimates at $50M (based on the number of spots they bought, including a big push on Telemundo). It’s for this reason that rival industry estimates fueled projections to $20M . However, the audience did not show up, unfortunately, given the IP’s limited appeal (versus say Miranda’s Broadway sensation Hamilton). In the Heights also did not overindex in Hispanic theaters in Southern California or Texas like Conjuring 3 did, despite 40% Latin audiences showing up. In the Height‘s theatrical audience exits were excellent at 4 1/2 stars on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak and an A CinemaScore in addition to 97% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
SambaTV observes that In the Heights HBO Max audience skewed affluent ($100k and above), female ( 4%), and non-white (Black 1%, Hispanic 30%, and Asian 22%). Of the 25 largest DMAs, San Francisco over-indexed the most by far ( 107%), followed by the DMA that includes the movie’s setting NYC ( 72%). NYC was by far the No. 1 theatrical market as well for the feature musical.
Disney’s Cruella pulled in 686K U.S. Households in its 4-day debut on Disney Premier, where subscribers shelled out $29.99 to see it. That translated to at least $20.57M in Disney PVOD revenue to go along with the pic’s 4-day box office opening of $26.5M.