The Success of Disney’s “Hamilton” & What That Means Now

Could Hamilton be the newest holiday classic film?

The Broadway smash, Hamilton, was slated for a theatrical release in October of 2021 but due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, Disney+ instead chose to release it on their streaming platform on July 3rd, 2020. Three years on, we look at the longtail impact it had.

At a time when streaming was at one of its highest points, the filmed on-stage musical proved to be an incredible success for Disney+, with Hamilton being viewed more than anything Netflix had that month, or the month before.

With approximately 2.7 million homes watching the musical on their TVs in the first two weeks after release, that means the audience who has watched it on streaming is larger than those who saw it in person. That number doesn’t include those who watched it from a tablet, laptop, or phone. Disney+ had only launched 7 months before and to have that kind of success out of the gate is uncommon.

The release of the musical provided audiences with access to a Broadway show they might not have had previously. For some, this was their first-ever NYC Broadway experience; for others, it was an introduction to American theater culture altogether.

As Diana Salameh of Serino Coyne points out, “I think there are opportunities for us to look beyond what’s happening on stage and think about what’s happening in the experience and help bring that to more people.”

Streaming platforms have made a space for creators to reach audiences, obviously, but it has also connected iconic artists and creators with the sub-culture they have cultivated throughout their careers. (See also: Beyonce and Coachella, Rihanna and Fenty, and Apple TV+ album release concerts.)

The same way some folks re-watch Love Actually during the holidays, or A Nightmare Before Christmas during Halloween season (yes, it’s a Halloween movie and we’re willing to die on that hill) Hamilton could prove to be the next seasonal holiday favorite.

Nicole Wolfe contributed to this article.

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