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“Palm Springs” Breaks Hulu’s Record For Biggest Opening Weekend

A little less than a month ago we shared the trailer for Palm Springsthe Sundance darling from director Max Barbakow, starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. Their romantic comedy broke a Sundance sales record when it sold to Hulu and Neon for $17.5 million this past January. It looks as if the investment was worth it; Hulu confirmed to IndieWire that Palm Springs broke the streaming platform’s record for opening weekend views.

“A spokesperson for Hulu confirms with IndieWire the film broke the streaming platform’s opening weekend record by netting more hours watched over its first three days than any other film on Hulu during the same period,” IndieWire‘s Zack Sharf writes. 

The gist of Palm Springs is that it’s an existential comedy of the time-honored time-loop variety. Think of a sunbaked Groundhog Day set at a wedding and you’re halfway there. The basic outline is this: Nyles (Samberg) meets Sarah (Milioti) at a wedding. She’s the maid of honor but a total black sheep. He’s a likable weirdo in that Sambergian way we’ve all come to love. They click. They head out to the beach at night, and…that’s when things get weird. Really weird. You can check out the trailer if you want a proper primer for the plot, but you’d probably enjoy Palm Springs even more by going into it knowing as little as possible. The most salient points—that it’s very funny, got rave reviews out of Sundance, has two stellar leads and a great supporting cast, and broke Hulu’s streaming record—are really all you need to know.

Hulu is having quite a ride as of late. They recently enjoyed their massively successful launch of Oscar-winning director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite this past April. That masterpiece became Hulu’s most-streamed independent or foreign-language film in its first week, and the second most-watched film on Hulu overall. Hulu’s partnership with Neon, which co-distributed both Parasite and Palm Springs, has been going about as well as you could hope.

Variety‘s Peter Debruge wrote that “Palm Springs is to time-loop movies as Zombieland was to the undead genre: It’s an irreverent take on a form where earlier iterations were obliged to take themselves seriously.” As we wrote last month, Palm Springs isn’t just a time-loop story, it’s also a romantic comedy, a genre that has been on life support for a while now. The fact that the film is a testament to what we love about both genres explains, at least in part, why it’s resonating with audiences in such a big way.

Featured image: L-r: Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg in ‘Palm Springs.’ Courtesy Hulu.

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