A good weekend for Apple. Besides Apple Studios on Saturday acquiring the hot Sundance title CODA for a festival record $25 million. Apple TV+ is reporting it scored its most-watched weekend in the relatively short history of the year-old streaming service. The record-breaking viewership was driven by the premiere of Palmer, starring Justin Timberlake and directed by Fisher Stevens.
While the streamer doesn’t divulge specifics, Palmer was Apple TV+’s third-biggest launch and second-biggest film, per the studio. Apple heads of worldwide video Zack Van Amburg & Jamie Erlicht and head of features Matt Dentler acquired it in July. The drama follows a former college football phenomenon named Eddie Palmer (Timberlake). After a stint in prison, he returns to his hometown to get his life back on track. There, he faces not only lingering conflicts from his past but also a much more surprising challenge as he finds himself suddenly in charge of a unique young boy who has been abandoned by his wayward mother.
Also helping the weekend’s viewership spike of 33% was the sophomore seasons of Servant and Dickinson and the premiere of Losing Alice. Apple has been building awards momentum with the animated Wolfwalkers, the docu Boys State, the Sofia Coppola-directed On the Rocks starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones and the Tom Hanks-starrer Greyhound. Coming up next in awards season are Cherry, the Joe & Anthony Russo-directed drama that stars Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo that bows March 12, and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, the R.J. Cutler-directed docu on the singer-songwriter and her rise to global superstardom, bowing February 26.
Among the event films down the line are the Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith runaway-slave tale Emancipation; the Martin Scorsese-directed Killers of the Flower Moon with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro; and Kitbag, the Ridley Scott-directed drama that stars Joaquin Phoenix as French conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte.