Pixar’s history-making animation film, Soul, officially became the first feature film to debut at number one on Nielsen’s weekly streaming rankings during the Christmas holiday week, beating popular comedy series The Office.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Jamie Foxx-led animation series was streamed by viewers for about 1.67 billion minutes between December 21 and 27 when it premiered on Disney+. This is equivalent to watching the full 100-minute movie 16.7 million times.
The Office – which is available on Netflix – came second with 1.44 billion streams, while Bridgerton (1.2 billion), The Midnight Sky (1.11 billion) and The Mandalorian (1.02 billion) occupied the third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Soul tells the story of jazz pianist/ schoolteacher Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who struggled in his music career before getting a lifetime opportunity to play for a well-known jazz singer called Dorothea Gipson. Joe dies on the day he received this huge opportunity and in the film, he tries to get back on Earth in time to perform for the jazz singer.
Since its premiere, the film has received generally positive reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 95% fresh score. Soul is Disney-Pixar’s first film with a Black lead character in Joe Gardner, and the animation studio tapped Foxx to voice him.
“I was so happy to have that,” he said of his history-making role. “I think this is the right progression. I was ready for something like this, I think we’re all ready for it.”
“I thought, wow, this is fantastic to be able to be in a Pixar film with so much groundbreaking potential and things like that. It was just great. My youngest daughter said, ‘Dad you finally made it,’ so, it was just amazing,” he added.
The 53-year-old also described the role to Variety as one of those “great things.” “For me to be able to say, and be proud to say, [I’m] the first African-American lead in Disney-Pixar, that’s amazing. That feels good,” he said.