EXCLUSIVE: How did audiences respond to the Apple TV+ premiere of Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry, which premiered in over 100 countries and theaters? The streamer would not divulge specific numbers — they never do — but I can report that the film became the biggest hit title for young adult audiences that Apple has had so far across its slate of films and TV series. The movie drew a record-breaking 33% new viewers to the service, with young adult audiences fueling the momentum from the moment the film premiered on Thursday, February 25. Nearly half of the film’s audience came from outside the U.S. and was number one among young adults across the globe, including the U.K., Australia, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, Russia, the Netherlands, France, and more, per Apple.
Directed by Emmy winner R.J. Cutler, the film is a coming of age story of the teen singer songwriter, capturing Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell as they write songs and work out the harmonies on their first album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? She sings like an angel, both of them do, but her work is fueled by the inevitable existential darkness that comes with being a teenager. Especially one who sprang from anonymity to global superstardom, headlining Coachella and a concert tour that takes the siblings all over the world.
She also begins to grow more comfortable asserting control over what is happening to her, from her decision to direct future videos to setting limits on how much of herself she will give away to service her stardom and fan base. It is like watching mature and harden into a star, in real time, though she still leaves room to swoon over Justin Bieber when he reaches out to do a song together. Still a teenager, she was chosen to perform the theme song to the upcoming 007 film No Time To Die, which likely will make her star rise even further around the world. The Billie Eilish film was the subject of a bidding war that Apple won in a big deal. Clearly, there are no regrets from Apple for stepping up.
Pic is a co-production of Apple Original Films, Interscope Films, The Darkroom, and This Machine, in association with Lighthouse Management + Media. Cutler wrote it, and Eilish, her brother Finneas O’Connell, and parents, Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell, are the stars. Cutler produced with Trevor Smith, Michelle An, Chelsea Dodson, and Anthony Seyler. Justin Lubliner, John Janick, Steve Berman, Brandon Goodman, Danny Rukasin, Aleen Keshishian, Margaret Riley, Zack Morgenroth, Todd Lubin and Jay Peterson are exec producers.