The Friends reunion special may not have satisfied every fan with new details and more scripted comedy, but it sure did draw a lot of eyeballs on HBO Max. According to reports, the special saw a superhero movie-level audience in its first few days on the platform, rivaling movies like Wonder Woman 1984 as far as the initial audience reached.
As Variety detailed, a third party metrics site measured the Friends reunion compared to other major releases on HBO Max and found it actually came close to the biggest title HBO Max has seen to date. The reunion’s numbers dwarfed major movie releases like Mortal Kombat and even got close to the Christmas Day release of the Wonder Woman sequel.
“Friends: The Reunion” was watched by an estimated 29% of U.S. streaming households on May 27, the first day of its release, as measured by TVision, a connected-TV analytics provider. Viewers of the special on HBO Max were 55.4% female, and more than 50% were in the 35-54 age demo.
By comparison, DC’s “Wonder Woman 1984” reached 32% of U.S. streaming households when it bowed on Christmas Day 2020 on HBO Max, per TVision. According to Nielsen, “WW84” was the most-viewed title across U.S. streaming services for Dec. 21-27, 2020, registering nearly 2.3 billion minutes streamed.
Despite not beating out Wonder Woman 1984, nearly 30 percent of the entire streaming landscape is a huge portion of viewership for a single event in the ever-fragmented landscape. But it’s no surprise the reunion got plenty of eyeballs: that’s why HBO Max was willing to pay millions for the show’s stars to reunite in the first place. Streaming Friends has never been more popular, and anyone who already had HBO Max to do so was obviously going to check out what the special had waiting for them. And whether it was worth the long wait or not, people sure did tune in to find out.