‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ Has Record Debut Weekend As Roku Channel’s Most-Watched On Demand Title Ever

The Spiderwick Chronicles creeped out of the woodwork to become a resounding success for The Roku Channel.

Debuting on April 19, the series became the most-watched on demand title to ever debut on The Roku Channel, including both Roku Originals and acquired content, according to the company.

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While Roku didn’t give any viewership figures, it did say that “millions” had tuned in to watch The Spiderwick Chronicles in its opening weekend.

According to Roku, The Spiderwick Chronicles has tallied the highest reach and most hours streamed of any title in the platform’s history during an opening weekend. It also also earned the highest daily reach and most hours streamed of any title to ever to debut The Roku Channel in a singular day.

“What’s clear is that great IP, great talent, [and] clear titles thrive on the Roku platform,” Brian Tannenbaum, Roku’s Head of Originals, told Deadline. “We believed in Spiderwick for those reasons, and we will continue to make those types of series and films that directly engage with our streamers and can flourish not only inside the Roku channel, but also on the Roku platform.”

The Roku Channel is in a unique position, relative to its streaming competitors, as Roku itself is the top TV operating system in the U.S. So, not only can the company market its original content on the streaming platform itself, but it can also reach anyone who owns a Roku TV device. As of the last quarter of 2024, Roku reported more than 80M active accounts globally.

Roku device owners might have spotted a new additional to Roku City, the home screen metropolis, over the weekend as Spiderwick Chronicles took over. If it piqued their interest to see Spiderwick Mansion looming behind their apps, audiences could make their way to the series directly from the ad.

Tannenbaum emphasized “leveraging the power of the home screen to drive viewership and engagement” as a core tenet of Roku’s strategy.

“We made Spiderwick unmissable on-platform and with one click from our home screen, we drove people right into the content,” he said. “What we demonstrated is the power of the Roku platform to drive millions of people” to the content.

Roku picked up the exclusive U.S. rights to the television adaptation of the popular children’s fantasy books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black in October, after Disney+ opted not to move forward with the series. While Roku may have seemed like a bit of an underdog compared to the Mouse House, streaming numbers tell a bit of a different story.

In March, Nielsen reported that the Roku Channel was responsible for 1.3% of all streaming usage, which is up from February to be on par with both Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock. It’s also higher than Paramount+, which accounted for about 1% of the total streaming share.

As for Disney, the Roku Channel wasn’t far behind. Disney+ managed to account for 1.7% of total streaming usage, down from 1.9% in February. All of that’s to say that these platforms are still very much playing in the same league.

“It is really encouraging to see those metrics,” Tannenbaum told Deadline, explaining that the company has taken “a holistic view” to harness a broad range of content in order to bring those numbers into existence.

Spiderwick Chronicles, from Paramount Television Studios and 20th Television, is still in its infancy, having debuted under a week ago. Tannenbaum tells Deadline that he and his team are still looking for insights from the series’ performance in the coming weeks.

“There is a clear audience desire for broad, four-quadrant programming that families can come together [and] watch together,” he said. “There is a sense of hope and aspiration, and magic that is throughout Spiderwick and I believe throughout a lot of our other successful Roku originals. We will continue to lean in there, but we’re just under seven days [since launch]. So I’m very much looking forward to many future learnings to take away as well.”

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