Apple TV+ scored its most-watched weekend in its fifteen-month history. The record-breaking viewership was driven by the premiere of the feature film Palmer, starring Justin Timberlake.
Former high school football star Eddie Palmer (Justin Timberlake) went from hometown hero to convicted felon, earning himself 12 years in a state penitentiary. He returns home to Louisiana, where he moves back in with Vivian (June Squibb), the grandmother who raised him. While trying to keep his head down and rebuild a quiet life for himself, Palmer is haunted by memories of his glory days and the suspicious eyes of his small town community. Things become more complicated when Vivian’s hard-living neighbor Shelly (Juno Temple) disappears on a prolonged bender, leaving her precocious and unique 7-year-old son Sam (Ryder Allen), often the target of bullying, in Palmer’s reluctant care. In time, Palmer is drawn into a more hopeful world as he forges a connection with Sam through their shared experience of being made to feel different by those around them. Life improves for Palmer, and a romance develops between him and Sam’s teacher Maggie (Alisha Wainwright). An inspiring and unexpected journey unfolds for the three of them, but soon Palmer’s past threatens to tear apart this new life.
While the streamer doesn’t divulge specifics, Palmer was Apple TV+’s third-biggest launch and second-biggest film, per the studio. Apple heads of worldwide video Zack Van Amburg & Jamie Erlicht and head of features Matt Dentler acquired it in July.
Also helping the weekend’s viewership spike of 33% was the sophomore seasons of Servant and Dickinson and the premiere of Losing Alice.
Apple has been building awards momentum with the animated Wolfwalkers, the docu Boys State, the Sofia Coppola-directed On the Rocks starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones and the Tom Hanks-starrer Greyhound. Coming up next in awards season are Cherry, the Joe & Anthony Russo-directed drama that stars Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo that bows March 12, and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, the R.J. Cutler-directed docu on the singer-songwriter and her rise to global superstardom, bowing February 26.
MacDailyNews Take: Ahead of Palmer, the biggest Apple TV+ film to date is Tom Hanks’ Greyhound.