Netflix: 295 Million People Streamed Four Original Movies in First 28 Days of Release in Q3, Led By ‘The Old Guard’

Netflix original movie Cuties may have generated the headlines,  viewers and notoriety, but the SVOD behemoth said four other  original movies scored the highest with subscribers in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30.

Netflix said action thriller The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, was the streamer’s most popular title in the quarter, generating 78 million member households who watched at least two minutes of the movie in its first four weeks of release.

Romantic comedy sequel The Kissing Booth 2 generated 66 million  member households, while action movie Project Power, starring Jamie Foxx, attracted 75 million member households. Late in September, Netflix debuted Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill as her famed detective brother. Netflix estimates 76 million member households will have streamed the movie in the first 28 days last this month.

In the current quarter, original movies include animated family film Over the Moon from director Glen Keane (premiering this weekend); The Midnight Sky (directed by and starring George
Clooney); Hillbilly Elegy (from Ron Howard); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (with Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman); The Christmas Chronicles 2 (from Chris Columbus); Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (with Forest Whitaker); MANK (David Fincher’s first feature at Netflix) and Ryan Murphy’s The Prom, starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden and Kerry Washington.

Netflix has begun production on action film Red Notice, starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds.

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“Our content successes highlight our ability to tap into our global audience of nearly 200 million members,” co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos wrote in the shareholder letter.

Meanwhile, new seasons of “The Umbrella Academy” and “Lucifer” generated 43 million and 38 million member households in their first 28 days of release. In mid-September, Ryan Murphy’s Ratched, a thriller based on the character from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and starring Sarah Paulson, generated 48 million member households chose to watch the horror drama. Netflix’s #1 and #2 documentary feature films included “American Murder: The Family Next Door,” which is projected to generate 52 million members households in its first 28 days, followed by “The Social Dilemma,” with 38 million.


Hula Acquires U.S. Rights to ‘Happiest Season’

Streaming service Hulu has acquired U.S. rights to Clea DuVall’s holiday romantic comedy Happiest Season, which will debut as a Hulu Original film on Nov. 25.

Sony Pictures and eOne co-financed the film and will retain distribution rights in Canada and the rest of the world. Overseas plans, including potential theatrical releases, will be finalized in the coming weeks.

The film stars Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Levy, Mary Holland, Burl Moseley, Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen. In the film, when Abby (Stewart) learns that Harper (Davis) has kept their relationship a secret from her family, she begins to question the girlfriend she thought she knew.

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“This holiday season — more than any other — we could all use a little happiness. It was essential to Sony Pictures and to the filmmakers that Clea’s marvelous and fresh holiday-themed romantic comedy come out when the lights are on the trees,” said Nicole Brown, president of TriStar Pictures, in a statement. “We are excited that Hulu is geared up to make this happen in the U.S. and grateful that they love the movie as much as we do.”

“With its all-star cast and modern storytelling, Happiest Season brings yet another breakthrough film to Hulu that we know our viewers will love,” said Brian Kendig, Hulu director of content acquisition, in a statement. “We are honored to be the streaming home of this fresh and funny romantic comedy that explores love, family and acceptance this holiday season.”

“I am beyond grateful to Hulu for providing an incredible home for Happiest Season, and I’ll forever cherish my journey with Sony Pictures who felt just as strongly as I did about the value of bringing the first major LGBTQ+ holiday rom-com to audiences,” said director/writer DuVall in a statement. “I’m hopeful that this universal story, told through a unique lens, will join the long list of holiday classics that continue to bring all of us so much joy and happiness.”

‘Snowpiercer’ Season One on Disc Jan. 26

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Snowpiercer: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Jan. 26 (order date Dec. 22). Episodes are available now through digital sellthrough.

Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, “Snowpiercer” centers on the remnants of humanity who inhabit a perpetually moving train that circles the globe with 1001 cars, setting up a society punctuated by class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out in this riveting television adaptation.

Based on the graphic novel and the 2013 film from Academy Award-winner Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), the series stars Academy Award-winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind),  Grammy and Tony Award-winner Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Iddo Goldberg, Katie McGuinness, Lena Hall, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand and Jaylin Fletcher.

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The Blu-ray and DVD editions include all 10 episodes, plus several extras, including an overview, interviews with Connelly and Diggs, and the featurettes “Class Warfare,” “The Train” and “Behind the Curtain: Art of the Frozen World.”

The second season of “Snowpiercer” debuts Jan. 25 on TNT.

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Netflix Misses Q3 Sub Growth Projection By 300,000; Stock Drops

As expected Netflix subscriber growth cooled in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, with the SVOD leader adding 2.2 million subs worldwide — down from a company projection of 2.5 million. Wall Street had projected 3.26 million net sub additions. Netflix added just 180,000 net subs in North America, down from more than 600,000 subs in the previous-year period.

The streamer, which added 6.77 million subs in the previous-year period, ended Q3 with 195.1 million subs worldwide.

“We think this is primarily due to our record first half results and the pull-forward effect,” co-CEOs Reed Hasting and Ted Sarandos wrote in the shareholder letter.

The executives made no mention of the controversial French-language movie Cuties, which resulted in a social media backlash/legal fallout after a Texas grand jury last month indicted Netflix on criminal charges alleging the service streamed “lewd material of children” in the movie. Analysts contend Netflix lost upwards of one million subs due to the issue.

Still, Netflix remains ahead of 2019 through three quarters with 28.1 million new subs in 2020 compared to 27.8 million new subs in 2019. The streamer is projected 6 million new subs in the current quarter, ending Dec. 31, which is down from 8.76 million new subs in the previous-year period.

Revenue more than doubled in quarter to $14.7 billion, compared to $6.4 billion in the previous-year period. Net income reached $1.28 billion from $790 million last year.

Regardless, investors were quick to respond, sending Netflix shares down around 6% in aftermarket trading.


‘Hammer Films: The Ultimate Collection’ Coming on Blu-ray Nov. 17 From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment will release the “Hammer Films: The Ultimate Collection” mega-set, containing 20 movies and hours of newly created bonus features, on Blu-ray Nov. 17.

This 10-disc collection features the films for the first time in HD, produced by Hammer in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. They include:

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1963)
These Are the Damned (1962)
The Old Dark House (1963)
The Gorgon (1964)
The Snorkel (1958)
Maniac (1963)
Die! Die! My Darling (1965)
Scream of Fear (1961)
Stop Me Before I Kill! (1961)
Never Take Candy From a Stranger (1960)
Cash on Demand (1961)
The Stranglers of Bombay (1960)
The Terror of the Tongs (1961)
The Pirates of Blood River (1962)
Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960)
The Camp on Blood Island (1958)
Yesterday’s Enemy (1959)
Creatures the World Forgot (1971)

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Daniel Griffith of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures serves as producer of the new Blu-ray bonus features, which include:

    • a 12-Page movie and feature guide booklet;
    • Hammer Film featurettes and retrospectives;
    • “The Actors of Hammer Film”;
    • The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb Retrospective”;
    • The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll Retrospective”;
    • “Hammer at Columbia Pictures”;

    • The Revenge of Frankenstein commentary with filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr and author/film historian Steve Haberman;
    • The Old Dark House commentary with The Monster Party Podcast featuring James Gonis, Shawn Sheridan, Larry Strothe and Matt Weinhold;
    • The Gorgon commentary with writer/director Joshua Kennedy (House of the Gorgon);
    • The Snorkel commentary with writer/producer Phoef Sutton, writer/film; historian Mark Jordan Legan and screenwriter/film historian C. Courtney Joyner;
    • Never Take Candy From a Stranger commentary with filmmaker/historian Constantine Nasr; and
    • Scream of Fear commentary with author/film historian Steve Haberman.

‘Tremors,’ ‘Bill & Ted’ Sequels Top New Releases for Home Viewing

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Tremors: Shrieker Island and Warner’s  Bill & Ted Face the Music top the slate of new releases available for home viewers beginning Oct. 20.

Other new titles consumers can watch at home include Paramount’s The Vanished and a new collector’s set of all three “Back to the Future” movies from Universal, including the trilogy’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut.

Tremors: Shrieker Island, the seventh film in the long-running “Tremors” thriller franchise, is being released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD as well as through digital retailers. The film finds Michael Gross returning as Graboid hunter Burt Gummer, joined by Jon Heder as his potential protégé as they take on a batch of genetically modified Graboids terrorizing a tropical island.

Universal also is releasing all seven “Tremors” movies in a five-DVD set.

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The first film, which starred Kevin Bacon and dealt with large worm-like creatures attacking a small desert community, spawned a series of direct-to-video sequels starting in 1996, all of which featured Gross reprising his Gummer character from the original.

Bill & Ted Face the Music becomes available on standard digital sellthrough after an initial release on premium VOD rental and purchase from MGM and Orion Pictures.

The third film in the “Bill & Ted” franchise finds Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reprising their roles as the time traveling title duo, who are tasked with emissaries from the future with writing the song that will unite humanity for all time.

The film was slated for a wide theatrical release over the summer that was pushed back as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, it was released via PVOD and in a handful of theaters that opened after quarantine restrictions were lifted, earning $3.3 million at the domestic box office.

The film becomes available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on Nov. 10.

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The Vanished on Oct. 20 becomes available on DVD. The thriller has already been available for digital sellthrough and on demand. Written and directed Peter Facinelli, the film deals with a family vacation that takes a terrifying turn when parents discover their young daughter has vanished without a trace. Stopping at nothing to find her, the search for the truth leads to a shocking revelation.

The film stars Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jason Patric and Facinelli, and is rated ‘R’ for violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use.

Other new releases of note available for home viewing on Oct. 20 include the Well Go USA urban drama Cut Throat City, with Wesley Snipes, on Blu-ray Disc and DVD (it was released digitally two weeks earlier); the Lionsgate zombie horror film Alone; and season one of “The Great,” the 10-episode Hulu series about Catherine the Great, arriving on DVD and for digital purchase or rental from Paramount.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

‘Haunting of Bly Manor’ Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor” was the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended Oct. 18, while the French series “La Flamme” led the rising show chart.

From “The Haunting of Hill House” creator Mike Flanagan, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is the next chapter of “The Haunting” anthology series. After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave hires a young American nanny to care for his orphaned niece and nephew who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef, groundskeeper and housekeeper. But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets are waiting to be unearthed. The series, which hit screens Oct. 9, also came in at No. 10 on the rising show chart.

Taking the silver on the binge chart was “Emily in Paris.” Created, written and executive produced by Darren Star (“Sex and the City”), “Emily in Paris,” which reigned a No. 1 for the previous two weeks, debuted Oct. 2 on Netflix. It follows Emily (Lily Collins), an ambitious 20-something marketing executive from Chicago, who unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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Top Binge Shows Week Ended Oct. 18 by Share of Binges:

  1. “The Haunting of Bly Manor” (Netflix) — 5.53%
  2. “Emily in Paris” (Netflix) — 4.42%
  3. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 1.99%
  4. “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC) — 1.94%
  5. “The Boys” (Amazon) — 1.57%
  6. “Lucifer” (Netflix) — 1.55%
  7. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.51%
  8. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.50%
  9. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.35%
  10. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.33%


Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended Oct. 18 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “La Flamme” (Canal+) — 99.8%
  2. “Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts” (Netflix) — 94%
  3. “Doc in Your Hands” (Rai 1) — 92.5%
  4. “Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All Access) — 81.4%
  5. “Fear the Walking Dead” (AMC) — 57.4%
  6. “black-ish” (ABC) — 51.5%
  7. “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” (VH1) — 50.3%
  8. “To the Lake” (THT) — 47.9%
  9. “Riverdale” (The CW) — 40.1%
  10. “The Haunting of Bly Manor” (Netflix) — 36.6%

Doc ‘Maybe Next Year’ Coming to DVD and Digital HD Nov. 10 From Virgil

The documentary Maybe Next Year, about Philadelphia football fans, will come out on DVD and digital HD Nov. 10 from Virgil Films.

Since 1776, Philadelphia has existed in the shadows of New York City and Washington D.C. Counted out and overlooked, Philadelphians turned to football as a way to let out their frustrations. After 58 years of coming up short, a Super Bowl title has become Philly’s holy grail. What started out as the most promising year in decades, the 2017 season quickly unraveled with the season ending injury of their MVP quarterback. With the deck stacked against them, an “underdog” city bands together and puts their faith in an unlikely backup.

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From throwing snowballs at Santa Claus to having a jail in their stadium, this fan base has earned their title of “worst in the NFL.” Maybe Next Year peels back the veil and offers an intimate look at the lives of four very different and very dedicated Eagles fans, unified by their commitment to family, unwavering passion, and the common dream of becoming Super Bowl Champions. Eagles fans paint their own portrait of what brotherly love truly means in this comeback sports story.

Parks: 300 OTT Video Services in U.S.

Over the top video distribution continues to proliferate nationwide. New data from Parks Associates suggests the number of OTT video services has more than doubled in the past six years to 300 platforms through through the third quarter (ended Sept. 30).


Steve Nason, research director at Dallas-based Parks, said the coronavirus shutting down movie theaters and studios delaying the release of major titles to next year, accelerated OTT video adoption among consumers.

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“The decision to delay the latest James Bond film No Time to Die hit the theater industry hard, and Disney’s announcement to move the Pixar film Soul to Disney+ shows studios are putting more emphasis on streaming,” Nason said in a statement.

The analyst contends that with studios also owning digital distribution, increased experimentation with transactional VOD and theatrical windowing is on the agenda. Nason called the recent partnership between NBCUniversal and Roku to distribute new streaming service Peacock as a “win-win” for both parties.

“Through this partnership, NBCUniversal gets its new marquee OTT service on one of the leading streaming video platforms, and Roku gets a significant incremental revenue bump from Peacock’s advertising, no matter the split,” Nason said. “The agreement will yield large gains of users and paying subscribers for Peacock as it takes on the Big 3 [Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video] in OTT and newer entrants from Disney, Apple, WarnerMedia, and ViacomCBS.”

Comedy ‘Spontaneous’ Due on DVD Nov. 10 From Paramount

The satirical comedy Spontaneous will be available on DVD Nov. 10 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film is available now on digital.

The film stars Katherine Langford (“Cursed,” “13 Reasons Why”), Charlie Plummer (“Looking for Alaska,” Words on Bathroom Walls), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure,” Night School), and Hayley Law (“Altered Carbon,” “Riverdale”), with Rob Huebel (“Transparent”) and Piper Perabo (“Penny Dreadful: City of Angels”).

In the film, when students in their high school begin inexplicably exploding (literally), seniors Mara (Langford) and Dylan (Plummer) struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last. As an unexpected romance blossoms between them, Mara and Dylan discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today.

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