July 6, 2020 / 5:22 PM / a month ago

"Hamilton" weekend release boosts Disney+ downloads

Signage regarding the coronavirus is seen on a doorway to the show Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers theater as Broadway shows announced they will cancel performances due to the coronavirus outbreak in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) streaming service app Disney+ was downloaded more than half a million times over the Fourth of July weekend globally, following the launch of musical “Hamilton” on the platform.

From Friday through Sunday, the mobile app was downloaded 513,323 times globally and 266,084 times in the United States, according to data from research firm Apptopia.

Disney released a film recording of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” on the platform on July 3. “Hamilton”, created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is a rap musical in which African-American and Latino actors play the founding fathers of the United States.

Disney previously planned to debut the film recording in movie theaters in October 2021, but the pandemic-induced shuttering of movie theaters prompted the launch on the company’s streaming service.

Last month, ViacomCBS Inc (VIACA.O) said the animated family film “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run” will also debut digitally in the U.S. in early 2021 and then move exclusively to CBS All Access.

Disney+, which launched in November last year, had nearly 71.5 million mobile app downloads globally, prior to the weekend bump, Apptopia said. The global numbers do not include India or Japan as Disney+ rolled into a pre-existing app in those countries.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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