Netflix: 25 Million Households Streamed ‘Selena: The Series’ in First Four Weeks

Netflix Jan. 15 disclosed that Part 1 of the original series on late Queen of Tejano Music Selena Quintanilla, “Selena: The Series,” reached 25 million subscriber households in the four weeks since its Dec. 4, 2020 debut. Netflix tabulates a viewer two minutes after an original program begins streaming.

The series stars Christian Serratos playing the young Mexican-American singer who was killed in 1995 by the president of her fan club and manager of Selena’s chain of beauty salons and boutiques.

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Netflix describes the show as a two-part coming-of-age drama that explores the once-in-a-generation performer’s journey as a young artist, from singing small gigs in Corpus Christi, Tex., with her family to becoming one of the most successful Latin artists of all time — and the years of grit and sacrifice the Quintanilla family navigated to achieve success.

Part 2 of “Selena: The Series” launches May 14.

NPD: December Video Game Revenue Skyrocketed 25%; Yearly Revenue Reached Record $57 Billion

The pandemic and new game systems helped drive December video game revenue to $7.7 billion, up 25% from $6.1 billion during the previous-year period. 2020 also set an all-time high in revenue with $56.9 billion, an increase of 27% from $44.3 billion in 2019, according to new data from The NPD Group.

The November launches of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S consoles contributed to hardware revenue jumping 38% to $1.35 billion from $978 million last year — the highest hard ware sales in eight years. The tally almost equaled $1.41 billion in hardware sales in 2019.

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While Sony and Microsoft hardware get the headlines, it was Nintendo’s Switch that quietly proved to be the best hardware seller throughout 2020 when it comes to unit sales and revenue. NPD said 2020 Switch sales were the best for a hardware device since the Nintendo Wii in 2008.

Accessories revenue spiked 15% to $546 million from $475 million last year. Accessories totaled $2.6 billion in 2020, up 21% from $2.14 billion in 2019. Sony’s DualSense Wireless Controller was the best-selling gamepad, while Turtle Beach’s Ear Force Recon 70 Gaming Headset Black for Xbox was the best-selling headgear.

Software sales in December rose 23% to $5.8 billion from $4.71 billion in 2019. Full-year sales jumped 26% to $48.98 billion, compared to $38.8 billion last year.

Top-selling title in December and 2020: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Activision), followed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

 

 

Doc ‘21 Miles’ Travels to Digital Jan. 16 From Virgil

The documentary 21 Miles is traveling to digital HD Jan. 16 from Virgil Films.

From Director Richard Parry (Shooting Robert King, BASE) and executive produced by Coldplay’s manager Dave Holmes and creative director Phil Harvey, the film is the story of a father’s incredible journey to reach his son in England.

Kais, a 30-year-old Tunisian, arrives in the French shantytown with nothing more than the shirt on his back and 21 miles of sea between him and his 8-year-old boy Marcel.

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21 Miles from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

Music Doc ‘Peter, Paul and Mary: Peter, Paul and Mommy Too’ Due on DVD Jan. 15 From MVD

Peter, Paul and Mary: Peter, Paul and Mommy Too is available on DVD for the first time Jan. 15 from MVD Entertainment Group and Liberation Hall.

In this live performance from their 1990s PBS television special, Peter, Paul and Mary continue their folk music magic for children and their families. The film features the trio’s heartfelt renditions of such classics as “The Eddystone Light,” “The Fox,” “We Shall Overcome,” “Garden Song” and “Puff (The Magic Dragon).”

The program, nominated for an Emmy for Best Children’s Program, was filmed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Majestic Theater.

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Tracks include:

  • “Puff (The Magic Dragon)”
  • “The Fox”
  • “Somagawaza/Hey Motswala”
  • “Inside”
  • “Day Is Done”
  • “Garden Song”
  • “The Eddystone Light”
  • “I Know An Old Lady (Who Swallowed a Fly)”
  • “Somos El Barco”
  • “Pastures of Plenty”
  • “Medley: Home On the Range/Don’t Ever Take Away My Freedom”
  • “All Mixed Up”
  • “Right Field”
  • “Poem For Erika/For Baby”
  • “We Shall Overcome”
  • “It’s Raining”
  • “If I Had a Hammer”
  • “Blowin’ in The Wind”
  • “This Land Is Your Land”

‘Tenet’ Repeats at No. 1 on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart; ‘Parallel’ Sole New Entry

With few new releases, the weekly “Watched at Home” chart remains largely unchanged from the prior week.

Warner Bros.’ Tenet is again No. 1 on the chart for the week ended Jan. 9, while Universal Pictures’ Honest Thief and The War With Grandpa switched places their sophomore week to place at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

The “Watched at Home” chart tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, but not premium VOD or disc rental) compiled from studio and retailer data and presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

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Paramount’s Love and Monsters is the week’s biggest gainer, moving up to No. 4 from No. 9 the previous week due to its Jan. 5 release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The film also was the week’s top disc seller (see related story).

Love and Monsters is a post-apocalyptic action film about a man (Dylan O’Brien) traveling through a world populated by monsters in order to reconnect with his girlfriend (Jessica Henwick). The monsters were created when chemical fallout from the destruction of an asteroid headed for Earth caused all cold-blood creatures to mutate into ferocious monsters. Love and Monsters was released theatrically and on VOD in October 2020.

Rounding out the top five is season three of perennial favorite “Yellowstone,” from Paramount.

Warner Bros. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy re-entered the chart at No. 16. The set made its 4K Ultra HD debut in December 2020.

The sole new entry on the “Watched at Home” chart was Lionsgate’s Parallel, bowing at No. 20. A Vertical Entertainment release, Parallel revolves around a group of friends who stumble upon a mirror that serves as a portal to a “multiverse,” only to discover that importing knowledge from the other side in order to better their lives brings increasingly dangerous consequences. The film’s cast includes Alyssa Diaz, Kathleen Quinlan Martin Wallstrom, David Harewood and Georgia King.

  1. Tenet (Warner)
  2. Honest Thief (Universal)
  3. The War with Grandpa (Universal)
  4. Love and Monsters (Paramount)
  5. Yellowstone: S3 (Paramount)
  6. Yellowstone: S1 (Paramount)
  7. Yellowstone: S2 (Paramount)
  8. The Office: The Complete Series (Universal)
  9. Unhinged  (Lionsgate)
  10. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  11. RuPaul’s Drag Race S:13 (VH1)
  12. The Craft: Legacy (Sony)
  13. The Informer (Vertical Entertainment)
  14. Buddy Games (Paramount)
  15. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Warner)
  16. The New Mutants (Fox)
  17. Hunter Hunter (IFC Films)
  18. The Phenomenon (1091)
  19. The Upside (STX, 2019)
  20. Parallel (Lionsgate)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended Jan. 9.

Pachter: U.S. Box Office to See 158% Revenue Increase in 2021

With a COVID-19 vaccination rollout slowly underway, consumers are expected to return to movie theaters in bigger numbers in the second half of this year, jumpstarting an industry perilously close to extinction in 2020.

Initial estimates call for the domestic box office to reach $3.3 billion in 2021 from $2 billion in 2020.

“We now expect 2021 box office to end up 158% over 2020, or down 52% over 2019,” Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles wrote in a note.

By contrast, in 2019 the domestic box office gross was $11.3 billion, according to Box Office Mojo.

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The analyst maintains that most moviegoers will remain reluctant to attend the theater until they receive their vaccine, or in the case that the transmission rate significantly falls. Pachter doesn’t expect attendance levels to begin to normalize until July at the earliest.

“We estimate that domestic box office is trending down 95.4% through the first 10 days of 2021 vs. 2020,” he wrote.

While studios cautiously produce content in 2021, plenty of programming originally slated for 2020 will fill the immediate gap. Wedbush contends that with streaming services competing at the highest levels for content to bolster their platforms in an extremely competitive environment driven by heightened levels of consumer demand, the shortage of new original content should continue throughout the first half of 2021.

Pachter said there are about 131 movies that have been moved or pulled from their original release slate, worth an estimated $9.9 billion. Of these films, 20 have been relegated to streaming platforms, worth an estimated $900 million in box office dollars. There are 24 that have yet to be rescheduled or slated for streaming, worth an estimated $963 million in box office dollars. Most of these will likely be moved to streaming platforms, in our view.

“Taken together, we think the overall negative impact to 2020 domestic box office was $3.4 billion, only partially offset by a positive impact to 2021 domestic box office of $289 million and another $1.8 billion in 2022,” Pachter wrote.

‘Journeys Through French Cinema’ Gets March 30 Blu-ray Disc Release Date

Cohen Media Group has set a March 30 Blu-ray Disc release date for  Journeys Through French Cinema, a three-and-one-half-hour tour through French film history from director Bertrand Tavernier.

A follow-up to Tavernier’s documentary My Journey Through French Cinema (2017), this eight-part series includes two episodes of Tavernier’s favorite directors, an episode on musicals by Julien Duvivier, two episodes on forgotten French directors, and one episode titled “My 1960’s”. The series explores how his country’s cinema was shaped by German occupation and changed again through the New Wave, spotlights little-known female filmmakers, and more.

Subjects include René Clément, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Julien Duvivier, Henri Decoin, Claude Autant-Lara, as well as composers who made music for movies — an art in and of itself that is far from the Hollywood spotlight.

 

Disney’s ‘Nomadland’ to Bow in Theaters, on Hulu Concurrently

Borrowing a page from Warner Bros., Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures will simultaneously release the modern drama Nomadland, starring Oscar winner Frances McDormand, in theaters and on Hulu beginning Feb. 19.

The film festival favorite features McDormand as a middle age woman who leaves her rural Nevada town following economic collapse in van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. Due to the film’s storyline and five-state shooting locales, Nomadland will debut briefly in select Imax screens, beginning Jan. 29.

While Warner Bros. is releasing its entire 2021 theatrical simultaneously on HBO Max due to the pandemic, Disney is not streaming Nomadland on Disney+, choosing instead Hulu with 38 million subscribers. The longtime SVOD runner-up to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, has upped its profile and subscriber count in recent years with the release of award-winning original content (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and distribution agreement for edgier fare with Disney-owned FX.

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Last year at the begin of the pandemic, Hulu released indie film Palm Springs in select theaters and on its platform at the same time. Disney has slowly embraced digital-first (i.e. Disney+) distribution for erstwhile theater titles with Onward and Soul as the hamstrung domestic box office continued. It then offered live-action sequel Mulan exclusively on Disney+ for an additional $29.99 purchase price.

The trend finds Disney opting to move some of its smaller 2021 films to Disney+, including Peter Pan & Wendy, Pinocchio, and Raya and the Last Dragon, while keeping its Marvel tentpole movies Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Eternals on its theatrical release slate.

“We think Soul, which was released on Disney+ on Christmas Day, likely drove substantial subscription growth for the service,” Michael Pachter with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, wrote in a note.

 

‘Love and Monsters’ Fights to No. 1 on Disc Sales Charts

Paramount’s Love and Monsters debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray sales chart the week ended Jan. 9.

The film, a post-apocalyptic actioner about a man traveling through a world populated by mutant creatures in order to reconnect with his girlfriend, earned $1 million at the domestic box office.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 56% of total Love and Monster sales, with the 4K Ultra HD version comprising 15% of its total.

Warner’s Tenet, which had been the top-selling disc the previous three weeks, dropped to No. 2.

Dropping a spot to No. 3 on both charts was Unviersal’s Liam Neeson-starrer Honest Thief.

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Rounding out the top five overall discs were Paramount’s Yellowstone: Season 3 at No. 4, and Universal’s The Office: The Complete Series at No. 5.

On the Blu-ray chart, No. 4 was Warner’s eight-film “Harry Potter” collection (which was No. 8 overall), followed at No. 5 by Universal’s 1917 (No. 12 overall).

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Jan. 10 was unchanged from the week before. Honest Thief repeated at No. 1, Universal’s The War With Grandpa was No. 2, Tenet was No. 3, Love and Monsters was No. 4 and Vertical Entertainment’s The Informer was No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 1-9-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 1-10-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 1-9-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 1-9-21

Lionsgate Thriller ‘Fear of Rain’ Available On Demand Feb. 12, on Disc Feb. 16

The thriller Fear of Rain will be available via on demand and in theaters Feb. 12, and on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 16 from Lionsgate.

In the film, for teenager Rain Burroughs (Madison Iseman), a diagnosis with schizophrenia means that every day is a struggle as she tries to figure out which of the disturbing images, harrowing voices, and traumatic feelings she experiences are real and which are all in her mind. But when Rain insists against her parents’ (Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick Jr.) advice that the shadows and cries from her neighbor’s attic are hiding a dark secret, she enlists help from Caleb (Israel Broussard), the charmingly awkward new boy at school — who himself may not be real.

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Written and directed by Castille Landon (After We Fell, After Ever Happy), Fear of Rain takes viewers inside Rain’s mind as she confronts the frightening hallucinations of her imagination to determine whether there is real horror hiding next door.