Of the many intellectual properties Disney acquired with their purchase of 20th Century Fox, one of them was “Predator.” While the original 1987 film still ranks as a stone-cold action classic, the subsequent entries have not done the franchise much justice. What was the public to make of a film prequel taking place in Comanche territory in the early 1700s called “Prey?”
Well, as it turns out- it made for the biggest premiere in Hulu history.
According to the majority owner of Hulu (Disney), “Prey” is the most watched premiere of any programming, film or series, in the platform’s history.
This even extends to other countries where Hulu isn’t available and Disney instead markets programming under the name Star. In these regions, “Prey” is also the most watched film premiere of all time for the respective platform. This represents a massive turnaround from the franchise’s last installment, 2018’s “The Predator.” The Shane Black-written and directed film was a commercial and critical bomb. And not the fun kind of bomb like when a Predator initiates their self-destruct sequence.
“Prey” is also unique in being one of the few films that tries to accurately represent a First Nation culture of the time period. First Nation actors were also utilized, including the film’s lead, Amber Midthunder (“Legion“). The setting, actors, story, and production have all added up to an astounding amount of critical praise for any entry in the franchise. The film currently sits with a 92% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes; something the series hasn’t seen since the first iteration.
This reception comes at an interesting time in the film industry regarding the concept of releasing big name movies on streaming services. Here we have an incredibly well-received entry in the “Predator” franchise scoring big viewership for Hulu. But over at Warner Bros. Discovery, “Batgirl” gets permanently shelved and written off for “tax purposes.”
The only thing we know for sure is that “Prey” is making headlines for how successful it is on streaming. As the industry continues to change and adjusts to streaming vs. theatrical releases, it’s good to see attention being given to success wherever it’s found. It’s sad to know we’re living in a world now where under different circumstances, something as successful as “Prey” could’ve been shuttered before it even had a chance to flourish.
Embrace the spoils of your hunt “Prey,” you earned it. Catch the film on either Hulu or Disney+ now.