The Last of Us sets new record in HBO Max debut

HBO's The Last of Us wasn't quite big enough to unseat House of the Dragon at launch but it did beat out everything else.


Numbers do not lie. If you want an objective way to measure the success of a show, all you need to do is to take a look at the numbers. So, when we tell you that HBO's The Last of Us is one of the biggest TV shows in history, we've got numbers to back up the claim.

the last of us record hbo max debut
HBO's The Last of Us was always guaranteed to be good but it's safe to say that it's exceeded all expectations.

According to WarnerMedia itself, 4.7 million viewers tuned in to HBO's The Last of Us premiere episode on Sunday, January 15. This is HBO's second-highest total for a debut in over a decade. The only show to eclipse the numbers posted by Joel and Ellie's post-apocalyptic romp is House of the Dragon, which set a new record for the platform with nearly 10 million people watching it from the comfort of their preferred streaming device. The only other show to come close to the said numbers is Game of Thrones, which pulled in 4.2 million premiere viewers when it came out in 2011.

When you consider that video game adaptations are a relatively divisive subject, HBO's The Last of Us' numbers becomes even more impressive. Then again, it shouldn't come as a surprise considering the live-action adaptation pulled in near-perfect reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

It's too early to see if HBO's The Last of us will become the most popular non-game project based on a video game yet, but it's close.

the last of us record hbo max debut
HBO's The Last of Us will likely be re-watched several times by fans of the games as well as casual audiences checking it out because of the hype.

The only other legitimate competition HBO's The Last of Us has is Netflix's League of Legends series, Arcane, which pulled in three Emmy awards last year. Judging by how well things are going for HBO's The Last of Us, it could make history as the first-ever live-action video game adaptation to rake in awards in the future. For now, we can settle for knowing that the viewing data proves that the show's lavish production budget has paid off.

Seeing HBO's The Last of Us succeeding like this makes it easy to see why Sony committed to other live-action adaptations for God of War and Horizon.

the last of us record hbo max debut
We're hoping that Season 2 of HBO's The Last of Us doesn't take as long to arrive.

Speaking of House of the Dragon, the hit fantasy drama series will spend most of the year filming. This puts its premiere at sometime late next year or early 2025.


Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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