Everybody’s watching Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. Well, sort of. Although Roku’s original music biopic parody hasn’t been seen by literally everyone on Earth as Weird Al Yankovic claims, it did set some records for The Roku Channel. Following its release for streaming on November 4, the film went on to garner the largest opening weekend audience in the streamer’s history and spur the most engagement with the platform throughout its history.
While Roku couldn’t give exact numbers on Weird‘s performance, the company shared that millions of users tuned in to see the film during its first weekend, surpassing all other content launches since the Roku Channel‘s launch in both unique views and streaming hours. The film also drove new users to the platform in droves with more new/lapsed users coming to Roku during its premiere weekend than for any other release. In general, the release saw Roku record the best day for engagement with the platform ever as more active accounts visited The Roku Channel globally on November 4 than on any other day for the streamer.
With news of the film’s overwhelming success on the streamer, David Eilenberg, Vice President and Head of Roku Originals, released an official statement celebrating Weird and everyone who helped make it a hit:
The response from our streamers to ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ has been nothing short of phenomenal. The intense audience passion for this project radiated throughout every step of our launch campaign. We’re not only proud of its global record-breaking performance but are so thrilled to see that it drove more first-time, new audiences to The Roku Channel than any past content launch. The strong reaction speaks volumes to the brilliant storytelling by Eric Appel and Al Yankovic and the standout performances from our fantastic cast.
Roku massively paid off with the release of Weird largely thanks to great promotion. The film got plenty of attention before release with a number of posters and trailers, but it rode especially hard on its superstar cast, particularly Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al. It also earned goodwill on the festival circuit. The film premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews, taking home the festival’s People’s Choice Award alongside Steven Spielberg‘s The Fabelmans. Most importantly of all, it’s a crowd-pleaser. By all measures, it was set up for an unprecedented win for the streamer.
Background on Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Directed by Eric Appel, Weird tells the very real and totally not exaggerated story of the world’s most famous parody musician and his rise to stardom through masterpieces like “Eat It,” “Another One Rides the Bus,” and “Like a Surgeon.” Starting from his upbringing where he was forbidden from playing the “sinful” accordion, he rebelled and wielded the instrument to become an overnight sensation and sex symbol. He’d lead a famously depraved and excessive lifestyle including a fling that nearly ruined him.
Alongside Radcliffe, the film stars Evan Rachel Wood, Quinta Brunson, Julianne Nicholson, Toby Huss, and Rainn Wilson with an appearance by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The real-life Yankovic also teamed with Appel to write the film while Funny Or Die and Tango produced.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is available to stream on The Roku Channel now.