Among the many jockeying streaming services, Hulu seems to be on something of a hot streak lately. Previously pigeonholed as the more TV-focused of the major streamers, the service has seen plenty of success in distributing feature films in 2020, both in terms of critical acclaim and rising viewership numbers. Back in the summer, Hulu blew past its previous record for “most-watched premiere” when it debuted the Loney Island/Andy Samberg time loop comedy Palm Springs to strong reviews. And now, it’s broken that record with equally strong reviews and an even more-watched streaming premiere for the Sarah Paulson thriller Run. The film also became the most talked-about Hulu Original to date on Twitter, according to Deadline.
Making this feat more impressive the fact that since its Nov. 20 premiere, Run has beaten out not only other Hulu Original Films, but also all of the service’s licensed film titles, making it the true #1 on the service during that period. Unfortunately, Hulu doesn’t provide exact numbers, so we can’t quantify exactly how many millions of people likely watched Run. Competitors at other streamers are typically just as opaque about their actual viewership numbers, although Netflix recently boasted that 62 million households around the world had watched Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen’s Gambit. We probably shouldn’t be surprised that the pandemic continues to fuel eye-popping consumption of streaming entertainment.
Run is a mystery/psychological thriller directed by Aneesh Chaganty, who made a splash with his debut 2018 feature Searching, starring John Cho. The film follows a wheelchair-bound teen who begins to suspect her mother has been hiding a dark secret from her throughout her entire life. It stars Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen and Pat Healy, and to date it holds a sterling 93% “fresh” rating at RottenTomatoes—indicative of just how many quality genre movies are hitting streamers as their preferred destination these days, perhaps. The film would have debuted theatrically but for the pandemic, and Hulu acquired the rights to Run from Lionsgate in August.
Hulu, meanwhile, does not appear to be slowing down, as it’s already dropped ANOTHER critically acclaimed new film onto the service since the debut of Run. That movie, Happiest Season, is a queer romantic comedy starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, which we reviewed quite warmly. If you haven’t logged into Hulu for a while, you may want to check these films out.