As New York City cinemas scrambled to reopen across the country, Amazon Prime worked to build buzz in the lead up to “Coming 2 America’s” March 5 release.
Initially scheduled to be theatrically released by Paramount Pictures on Aug. 7, 2020, the highly anticipated sequel to the 1988 classic was pushed back to Dec. 18, 2020. The film was then sold to Amazon who released it on their streaming service on March 4, a day earlier than planned.
The film sees Eddie Murphy reprise his role as Prince Akeem. As he ascends to the royal throne of Zamunda, he learns he has a son, Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), living in Queens. Director Craig Brewer reunites much of the original cast and brings in new faces including Kiki Layne as Princess Meeka and Leslie Jones as Mary, Lavelle’s mother.
Before the film’s release, Prime Video executed an extraordinary global marketing campaign, kicking off with a television spot debut during Super Bowl LV and the relaunch of the original 1988 movie on Prime Video in celebration of Black History Month.
Additionally, Amazon Studios and Prime Video produced infomercials showcasing iconic elements from the original movie like Soul Glo, Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate and My-T-Sharp Barbershop.
During the week of release, Prime Video partnered with Amazon Transportation to reimagine a fleet of delivery vehicles, trucks and a Prime cargo airplane in key U.S. markets in celebration of the return of Prince Akeem.
Globally, Amazon Studios collaborated with Nigerian and South African local distributors, making the film available in theaters nationwide in both countries. The film is currently No. 1 in Nigeria and West Africa and is the highest opening for a film released in 2021 in Nigeria and West Africa.
Due to the pandemic, the studio held a virtual global premiere with 2,328 guests invited to attend. During the first 13 minutes of the premiere, guests utilized the photo booth, taking over 1000 photos and engaging in over 8000 chats and emojis throughout.
Since the film’s release, Prime Video has jumped to the No. 1 most downloaded app for entertainment (per the App Store chart) and No. 2 across all free apps. The film’s streaming page has received 9,000 reviews and currently stands at four stars.
As of March 5, the movie is the “most-talked” about film on Twitter to be released in 2021, according to social media data company Listen First and a sustained trending position of No. 3 nationally along with various cast members including Wesley Snipes and Murphy.
Additionally, the song “I’m a King” by Bobby Sessions and Megan Thee Stallion went viral on TikTok on March 4 with the “I’m a King” dance challenge.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, says: “We are thrilled that fans around the world joined us in welcoming the Zamunda Royal family to Amazon Prime Video. Eddie Murphy has once again proven he is a global phenomenon uniting both existing and new fans. Our team is humbled to work on behalf of this remarkably talented group of filmmakers, creatives and the glorious ensemble cast. Audiences have spoken and ‘Coming 2 America’ was the movie they were all waiting for.”
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