BORAT: SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM has already proven to be quite successful for Amazon since its debut last Friday. It has been reported that its opening weekend was bigger than MULAN’S streaming debut on Disney+ and given all the media coverage the film has been receiving, it’s likely to still pay dividends to the streaming platform. All success comes at a price and now we’re learning a bit more about exactly how much Amazon forked over to get the rights to the film.
A new report from “Deadline” via “Collider” reveals that Amazon Prime paid $80 million for the exclusive streaming rights for the BORAT sequel. “Deadline” cites multiple sources for the figure and adds that the deal came about because of Sacha Baron Cohen’s desire to release it before the election on November 3, 2020. Universal Pictures had secured theatrical distribution rights for the film but did not want to release it during the pandemic. The studio allowed Cohen to shop the movie around to streamers in order for his desired release date to be met. Cohen also insisted that the movie be a streaming release so it could attract as large an audience as possible and even a VOD release was rejected because it would come with an additional fee for consumers.
It’s not known if other streamers were in the running but Amazon ultimately won out in the end. I understand Universal’s desire to not release the film during the pandemic because significant box office could’ve been lost if it was released in this current climate theatrically. The first BORAT film, released in 2006, was a huge hit at the box office, grossing $262 million worldwide on an $18 million budget. With numbers like that, I can see why Universal was reluctant to release it theatrically in the midst of COVID but it’s good everything was worked out in the end so Cohen could meet the release date he was shooting for.
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM is a mockumentary film that stars Cohen as the fictional Kazakh journalist and television personality Borat Sagdiyev, and Maria Bakalova as his daughter, Tutar, who is to be offered as a bride to Vice President Mike Pence during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election.
What do YOU think about what Amazon paid to acquire the film? Will we see more of this in the future?