I’ve had numerous debates with friends and family on the subject of movie runtimes. I am of the opinion that movies used to be much shorter, with most only having a 90-minute runtime. These days, if your movie’s not at least 2 hours, it ain’t a real big budget production. With the HBO Max release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, I think my stance has been pretty definitively proven, though perhaps the flaw in my logic was that people won’t always sit through the entirety of a longer movie.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a jaw-dropping four hours long. To put that in context, even Avengers: Endgame was only 3 hours long. As such, the Snyder Cut isn’t just a movie, it’s a commitment, one that some viewers are having trouble sticking to. According to statistics gathered by viewership tracking engine Samba TV, of the 1.8 million HBO Max accounts that started watching the movie, only around a third of them actually watched the whole thing.
For years, the #SnyderCut existed in black and white and shown only to a select few.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League: #JusticeIsGray, a black and white version of the film, is now streaming on @HBOMax in 4K UHD, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos on supported devices. pic.twitter.com/3c40221N27
— Zack Snyder’s Justice League (@snydercut) March 25, 2021
To clarify, that doesn’t necessarily mean people are dropping out entirely after the first hour (though I wouldn’t doubt there’s some of that going on). According to Samba TV’s director, Jeffrey Silverman, their algorithm counts a “view” as someone who watched at least the first five minutes of the movie, and a “finish” as someone who watches the entire thing uninterrupted. Multiple HBO Max users have mentioned that in lieu of burning an entire afternoon watching the whole thing in one go, they’ve opted instead to watch the film’s six chapters separately over the course of several days, kind of like a mini-series. These multi-watchers aren’t counted as separate views, which may be confusing the statistics a bit.
Analysts believe it could take a few weeks, possibly even longer, before we can get an accurate picture of how popular the Snyder Cut actually is. Hopefully, everyone that’s been clamoring for it over the last few years has done their due diligence and watched the whole thing.