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In a nutshell: Amazon has revealed that the controversial new Borat movie attracted "tens of millions" of viewers globally over its opening weekend. The popularity has seen Kazakhstan adopt the character's catchphrase, while the Rudy Giuliani controversy rages on.
Variety reports that "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," available to stream on Amazon Prime, was released a day earlier than planned to land at the same time as the presidential debate. But Samba TV, which tracks viewership on internet-connected TVs only, estimates that 45,000 households streamed the movie on October 22, whereas 24 million people watched the final Trump-Biden debate.
Amazon didn't say exactly how many people watched Borat 2 beyond "tens of millions," though it did reveal that more than 1 million people tuned in to the Borat watch party last Thursday, which included a Q&A with Borat star Baron Cohen and featured a worldwide dance party.
"Sacha has masterfully created one of the most well-received films of these unprecedented times — showcasing some of the best and the worst of us, wrapped in one outrageous moment after another," Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. "With the tremendous launch of this global, tentpole movie, it's clear our customers around the world want content that is both relevant and entertaining."
The company rarely talks about how many Prime customers is has; the last time Amazon revealed any figures was in January 2020 when it said there were over 150 million members worldwide.
Despite Borat Sagdiyev portraying his home country of Kazakhstan as being full of anti-Semitic, sexist homophobes, it seems the country appreciates the attention: Kazakhstan has adopted his "Very Nice" catchphrase in a new tourism campaign.
One of Borat's unsuspecting victims in the movie is former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. In an "interview" with Borat's daughter Tutar, who is supposed to be 15 years old but is played by 24-year-old actress Maria Bakalova, Giuliani appears to reach into his trousers in her presence. He claims the clip is "a complete fabrication," claiming "I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment." You can see Borat's response below.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM BORAT SAGDIYEV pic.twitter.com/vM92Lam5vV— Borat (@BoratSagdiyev) October 23, 2020