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Disney+ App Downloads Surge on 'Hamilton' Weekend Launch

Downloads of the Disney+ app jumped during the holiday weekend as the Broadway musical "Hamilton" launched on the streaming service.
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Downloads for the Disney+ app jumped 74% in the U.S. during the holiday weekend as the smash Broadway musical "Hamilton" launched on the entertainment giant's subscription streaming service. 

The download figures represented a 74% increase over the four prior weekends in June. 

Globally, the Disney+ app was downloaded 47% more times than the average four weekends in June, according to analytics firm Apptopia. 

The downloads represent paid subscribers, not free-trial users, as Disney+ ended its free week-long trial offering last month.

“Hamilton” represented the biggest content launch so far in 2020, in terms of downloads, according to Apptopia. 

The winner of 11 Tony awards, "Hamilton" started streaming on Disney+ on Friday, July 3, 15 months earlier than originally planned. Disney in February last year paid $75 million to acquire distribution rights for the movie.

The film version of Hamilton was shot nearly four years ago and features the musical's original stars, including Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton.

The coronavirus pandemic hit Disney hard, as social-distancing and self-quarantine requirements forced it to close theme parks and shut down film and movie productions. 

Last month, Disney said it was delaying the planned reopening of its Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks. Walt Disney World in Florida is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, even though the state's coronavirus infection rate has been climbing.

Disney+ has been a bright spot for the Burbank, Calif., entertainment company in a dark time. Digital TV Research now predicts Disney's streaming service will have more than 202 million subscribers by 2025, according to the Hollywood Report.

That's up from Digital TV's previous estimate of 126 million and would make Disney second only to Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Free Report in subscribers by the middle of the decade.

Shares of Walt Disney DIS at last check were down 1.2% to $113.04.