Coming 2 America first streaming movie to hit No. 1 during pandemic
Amazon has not released any numbers on behalf of Coming 2 America, the comedy sequel to the 1988 blockbuster, Coming to America. Instead, the studio, which paid $125 million for the sequel in October, is pointing to The Digital Entertainment Group/Screen Engine/ASI’s VOD weekend rankings where the Eddie Murphy comedy (according to Deadline) debuted at No. 1 over the likes of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run; and can now boast that it is the only 2021 film — nay, the last 12 months — to open at No. 1 on the streaming charts during the pandemic.
So, take from this what you will.
Proclaimed Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios: “The Zamunda Royal family has arrived and audiences around the globe welcomed them enthusiastically! The premiere of Coming 2 America has far exceeded any of our wildest expectations. It’s clear an entire new generation of fans have joined the enormous loyal fanbase who already adored the magical world created by global phenom Eddie Murphy, the incredibly talented filmmaking team and the hilarious, all-star cast of existing and newly-cemented legends. Coming 2 America is the perfectly fun, celebratory, escapist, feel-good comedy movie that worldwide audiences needed.”
The trade notes that Amazon, which currently enjoys 150 million global Prime subscribers, was also mum on the numbers for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm back in October. This is par for the course as rival streamers AppleTV+, Hulu, Peacock and HBO Max likewise don’t release streaming numbers. Which is weird as you’d think a studio would want to gloat over such victories the way Netflix does.
Also of note, DEG doesn’t rank the weekend results for Disney+’s Raya and the Last Dragon, therefore, Coming 2 America was No. 1, but such a victory is rather muted until actual figures are released.
Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, Coming 2 America continues to follow newly-crowned King Akeem and his trusted confidante Semmi embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began.
The sequel features the return of original cast members Eddie Murphy as Akeem, Arsenio Hall as Semmi, James Earl Jones as King Jaffe Joffer, Shari Headley as Queen Lisa, John Amos as Cleo McDowell and Louie Anderson as Maurice, and the motley barbershop crew. Joining this star-studded ensemble are Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Rotimi, KiKi Layne, Nomzamo Mbatha, and Teyana Taylor.
Coming 2 America is directed by Craig Brewer from a screenplay written by black-ish creator Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, and David Sheffield, with story by Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield, and Justin Kanew, based on characters created by Eddie Murphy. It is a co-production by Paramount Pictures, New Republic Pictures, and Eddie Murphy Productions. The producers are Kevin Misher and Eddie Murphy, executive producers are Brian Oliver, Bradley Fischer, Valerii An, Kenya Barris, Charisse Hewitt-Webster, Michele Imperato Stabile, and Andy Berman.
The original film was directed by John Landis in 1988 and starred Murphy as a wealthy African prince who comes to Queens, New York posing as a poor man to search for a bride. It became a box-office hit with a worldwide gross of more than $280 million. The film is currently streaming on Amazon!