No, the buzz for Palm Springs that you’re seeing all over social media is not déja vu. After Max Barbakow‘s time loop romantic-comedy starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti debuted to glowing praise at the Sundance Film Festival, Palm Springs set records as the biggest deal at the annual Park City fest. And after its streaming debut on Hulu, the unique rom-com is setting records once again.
A spokesperson for Hulu confirmed to IndieWire that Palm Springs broke the streaming platform’s opening weekend records, pulling in more views over its first three days than any other film on Hulu in that same time period. The rom-com has also generated the highest social media interest for any Hulu original film to date, and was the most discussed Hulu original film on Twitter over its first three days, IndieWire reports.
Palm Springs launched on Hulu on July 10 as part of a streaming deal between Neon and Hulu after the two distributors acquired the comedy at this year’s Sundance for a whopping $17.5 million and 69 cents, the biggest deal in the history of the festival (beating out previous record-holder, Searchlight Pictures’ $17.5 million purchase of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation in 2016). Neon opened Palm Springs at select drive-in theaters on the same day as its Hulu launch.
The streaming success for Palm Springs is well deserved, as the clever and endlessly charming romantic-comedy has earned critical acclaim for being a refreshing twist on the time-loop comedy. /Film’s Ben Pearson was among the many who raved about it at Sundance this January, writing in his review, “A sharp, laugh out loud crowd-pleaser, Palm Springs could end up being the funniest film of 2020. But it’s not a mindless comedy. It tackles some profound topics amid the laughs, interrogating the sustainability of long-term relationships and exploring how a seemingly awful situation might be aided by a change in perspective. It already feels like a modern comedy classic, and I can’t wait to revisit it (over, and over, and over…).” I wholeheartedly agree with Ben’s assessment, and only wish that it could get the platform that a theatrical release would afford it (in normal times), though as we can see, it seems to be doing just fine on Hulu.
The partnership with Neon has proved fruitful for Hulu, with the streamer becoming the exclusive online home for Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning Parasite earlier this April. Parasite became Hulu’s most-streamed independent or foreign-language film in its first week of availability, and the second most-watched movie overall on the streaming platform within its first week of release.
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