“Happiest Season” Shatters Hulu Premiere Records

Clea DuVall's queer Christmas movie delivered.

Although Happiest Season has divided Lesbian Twitter™️, the film did prove one thing: Queer viewers are hungry to see themselves reflected on the big screen.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the queer Christmas rom-com — which stars Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, and Aubrey Plaza, and was co-written and directed by out Hollywood veteran Clea DuVall — was distributed digitally via Hulu in lieu of a theatrical release. And it was a massive success. According to Variety, Happiest Season broke premiere records for the streamer during its opening weekend. It also had the highest amount of social interest of any Hulu Original to date in the first five days after its premiere.

Speaking to the magazine, DuVall said the whole experience was “kind of remarkable” for her. Despite viewers being split on the film’s ending (Team Riley, anyone?), the out filmmaker is content with the fact that people are talking about Happiest Season.

Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Hulu
DuVall at the film’s drive-in premiere.

“All I really was hoping for is that it would give studios or streamers the impression that movies like this have an audience, and that people want to see them,” DuVall said. “I just wanted to do a good enough job that I would get to make more on a larger scale. That LGBTQ stories would be — you know, that there would be more of them!”

“I’m really just so thrilled that people are watching the movie and are affected by it, and having conversations about it,” she added. “There’s been so little visibility that for something like this to come out and be so visible and so seen and wanted to be seen by so many people — it’s very humbling. It’s really wild.”

So, no matter who you thought Davis’ Harper should have ended up with, your eyeballs did go a long way toward encouraging studios and streamers to invest in LGBTQ stories. And that’s certainly cause to celebrate.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella