It can be hard to know what to make of Apple TV+, the ambitious, high-gloss film-and-television streaming arm of a nearly $3 trillion consumer technology giant. Apple is both the largest company on earth and has positioned itself as an eventual HBO rival, partnering with Richard Plepler and churning out prestige series like Severance, The Morning Show, and Ted Lasso, which won four Emmys last night. Last year, Apple was the first streamer to win Best Picture, for CODA, beating Netflix to the punch.
But Apple, like the other streamers, is also deliberately enigmatic about how many people actually watch its shows—or even how it measures success. In fact, Apple is one of the only major streamers that’s declined to reveal how many subscribers it has. (Amazon includes Video subscribers as part of its total Prime Members, but that’s not really the same, is it?) The estimate in the analyst community typically hovers around 25 million paid customers globally.
That context is why I’m so fascinated by Luck, one of Apple’s first major animated features, which debuted in August. The $140 million movie from Skydance Animation’s John Lasseter, the Pixar co-founder and former Disney animation leader, has received solid reviews. Friends with young kids have told me that it’s played on repeat in their homes—a positive sign for the company as it leans into kids content at a time when competitors, like Warner Bros. Discovery, are withdrawing. But anecdotes aside, how has Luck actually performed?