‘American Skin’ Takes Top Spot on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart

The Vertical Entertainment drama American Skin, about a Marine veteran who seeks justice when his son is killed by a police officer, jumped to No. 1 from No. 10 on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended Jan. 23, toppling Warner Bros.’ Tenet from the top spot it had occupied for the last three weeks.

American Skin had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September 2019. Vertical Entertainment acquired the film last December and gave it a multi-platform release on Jan. 15. Lionsgate will release the film on DVD on March 9.

Tenet slipped to No. 2 on the “Watched at Home” chart, which 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.

Universal Pictures’ Honest Thief and The War With Grandpa each backtracked a spot as well, finishing at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

Season 3 of Paramount’s “Yellowstone” again rounded out the top five.

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Three new releases and one catalog title debuted on the “Watched at Home” chart.

The IFC Films documentary MLK/FBI was the top debut, landing at No. 10, followed by Let Him Go, a Universal Pictures crime drama starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, at No. 11.

The STX thriller Horizon Line bowed at No. 15, while Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street checked in at No. 19.

MLK/FBI is a documentary by Sam Pollard that follows late Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. as he is probed and hassled by the FBI and its notorious director, J. Edgar Hoover. The film had its world premiere at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival and was given a multi-platform release by IFC Films on Jan. 15.

Let Him Go, based on the novel of the same name by Larry Watson, stars Coster and Lane as a husband and wife who, following the death of their son, leave their Montana ranch to trek through North Dakota to rescue their young grandson from the clutches of a ruthless family. The film earned $9.4 million in U.S. theaters and was released for digital sellthrough on Jan. 19. It will make its Blu-ray Disc and DVD debut on Feb. 2.

Horizon Line is a Swedish adventure thriller released on VOD on Jan. 12. The film follows a couple on a small plane that crash lands on an island that is actually a sandbar, with the two struggling to stay alive before the tide rises.

  1. American Skin (Vertical)
  2. Tenet (Warner)
  3. Honest Thief (Universal)
  4. The War with Grandpa (Universal)
  5. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  6. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  7. Love and Monsters (Paramount)
  8. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  9. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  10. MLK/FMI (IFC Films)
  11. Let Him Go (Universal)
  12. The Office: The Complete Series (Universal)
  13. The Informer (Vertical)
  14. Spell (Paramount)
  15. Horizon Line (STX)
  16. The Craft: Legacy (Sony Pictures)
  17. Unhinged (Lionsgate)
  18. 100% Wolf (Viva)
  19. The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount)
  20. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Warner)


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. 23.

‘Tenet’ Tops Disc Sales Charts for Fifth Time in Six Weeks

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Tenet remained No. 1 for a second consecutive week on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Jan. 23.

It’s the fifth time in six weeks the latest thriller from director Christopher Nolan has been No. 1 since arriving on shelves Dec. 15. It was the top disc seller for three weeks after its premiere before slipping to No. 2 two weeks ago, but returning to the top spot last week.

Paramount’s post-apocalyptic actioner Love and Monsters remained No. 2 on both charts.

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On the overall disc sellers chart, which had no new releases in the top 20, the third season of Paramount’s popular drama series “Yellowstone” moved up a spot to No. 3.

Paramount’s 1986 action movie Top Gun rose to No. 4 as anticipation builds for the eventual theatrical release of the sequel, which was delayed from last year to potentially this summer. To aid the effort, retailers such as Walmart have been offering an array of tie-in merchandise, such as hats, sunglasses and backpacks.

Rounding out the overall top five was Universal Pictures’ Honest Thief, the latest actioner from Liam Neeson.

On the Blu-ray Disc chart, Warner’s eight-film “Harry Potter” collection was No. 3, followed by Universal’s 1917 at No. 4, and Disney’s live-action Mulan remake at No. 5.

Shout! Factory’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray re-release of John Carpenter’s They Live made a bit of a splash, bringing the 1988 sci-fi thriller up the Blu-ray chart to No. 6 (though it didn’t appear in the top 50 overall sellers).

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Jan. 24, Well Go USA’s new sci-fi cop drama Synchronic debuted at No. 1. It was available at Redbox kiosks a week before its national street date. Newcomer Wander, a thriller from Paramount, took No. 2.

Honest Thief slipped to No. 3 after three weeks in the top spot. Universal’s The War With Grandpa and 20th Century Studios’ The Empty Man each dropped a spot from the previous week to take No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 1-23-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 1-24-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 1-23-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 1-23-21
Sales Report for Week Ended 1-23-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 1-25-21

‘Brooklyn Love Stories’ Available on Demand Feb. 2 From Level 33

The dramatic romance anthology Brooklyn Love Stories will be available on demand on Feb. 2 from Level 33 Entertainment.

The film follows a young graffiti artist, a middle-aged widow, a teenage poet, a vampire and two lovers stuck in separate timelines. Though their paths don’t always cross, their lives unfold in Brooklyn’s vibrantly multicultural neighborhood of Bushwick, which becomes a distinctive character that ties together six diverse stories about the power of unconditional love.

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It stars Britt Baron, Justine Lupe, Ronen Rubenstein, Henny Russell, Britne Oldford, Max Baker, Hazelle Goodman and Nadia Dajani.

‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ to Debut on Paramount+, PVOD March 4; ‘SpongeBob’ Series to Bow on Streaming Service

Paramount Pictures’ animated film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will premiere on ViacomCBS’s streaming service Paramount+ and on PVOD as a $19.99 rental from Paramount Home Entertainment March 4.

The film was released theatrically during the summer.

“Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” (Paramount+ 2021 CBS Interactive)

The new Paramount+ original series “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” also will debut on the service March 4, with the first six episodes available to subscribers in the United States. The rest of the season’s 13-episode order will roll out on the platform at later dates to be announced.

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In the CGI-animated Sponge on the Run, SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing and a path of clues leads SpongeBob and Patrick to the powerful King Poseidon, who has Gary held captive in the Lost City of Atlantic City. On their mission to save Gary, SpongeBob and his pals team up for a heroic and hilarious journey where they discover nothing is stronger than the power of friendship.

The Nickelodeon series “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” is the first-ever “SpongeBob SquarePants” spinoff. The CGI-animated prequel series follows 10-year-old SpongeBob and his pals during summer sleepaway camp where they spend their time building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck in the kelp forest, Kamp Koral.

Jackie Chan Actioner ‘Vanguard’ Arriving on Digital March 2, Disc March 9

The Jackie Chan actioner Vanguard arrives on digital March 2 and on DVD and Blu-ray (plus digital) March 9 from Lionsgate.

The film, released in the United States Nov. 25 in 1,000-plus theaters, stars Jackie Chan (Rush HourThe ForeignerPolice Story), Yang Yang (Once Upon a Time, TV’s “The King’s Avatar,” “The Whirlwind Girl”) and Miya Muqi (Tomb RobberKung Fu Yoga, The Pluto Moment).

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In the film, Jackie Chan plays Tang, CEO of the covert security company Vanguard. After wealthy businessman Qin rats out his corrupt partner in an arms deal gone fatally wrong, he and his family become targets of the world’s deadliest mercenary organization — and the fighting power of Tang’s team is their only hope to survive.

Extras include a making-of featurette.

‘Wrong Turn’ Reboot Traveling to Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 23 From Lionsgate

The backwoods horror film Wrong Turn arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD Feb. 23 from Lionsgate.

The reboot of the franchise is executive produced by Martin Moszkowicz (Resident Evil franchise), Bill Bromiley (3 From HellWe Summon the Darkness) and Jonathan Saba (The Vanished, Hangman), and stars Matthew Modine, Emma Dumont, Charlotte Vega, Daisy Head and Bill Sage.

In the film, Jen (Vega) and a group of friends set out to hike the Appalachian Trail. Despite warnings to stick to the trail, the hikers stray off course — and cross into land inhabited by The Foundation, a hidden community of mountain dwellers who use deadly means to protect their way of life. Suddenly under siege, Jen and her friends seem headed to the point of no return— unless Jen’s father (Modine) can reach them in time.

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Special features include deleted and extended scenes; the “Monsters Among Us: Making Wrong Turn” featurette; the Wrong Turn promotional trailer; and feature-length audio commentary with director Mike P. Nelson.

Sling TV Raises Prices

Sling TV Jan. 27 raised prices for Sling Orange and Sling Blue base service customers to $35 per month, an increase of $5 per month. Via the multi-service discount, customers can get both Sling Orange and Sling Blue for $50 per month, also an increase of $5 per month.

Existing customer prices will not change through July 2021, when their existing subscription remains active.

“Unfortunately, we are forced to raise prices because the television networks keep charging us more, but we fight hard to get the best deal for our customers,” Michael Schwimmer, group president of Sling TV, said in a statement. “The proof of our commitment is apparent, as Sling TV is still the best deal in the market, keeping our prices much lower than cable and other live streaming services. Sling TV customers can rest assured that we’ll continue to offer the best combination of live news, sports and entertainment cable channels at the best value.”

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The company also instituted new pricing for Sling TV extras:

  • Sports Extra: New customers with Sling Orange or Sling Blue will now pay $11 per month (an increase of $1 per month); new customers who subscribe to both Sling Orange and Sling Blue will continue to pay $15 per month.
  • All other Extras: New customers who subscribe to Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Hollywood Extra and/or Heartland Extra, will now pay $6 per month for each Extra (an increase of $1 per month).
  • Total TV Deal: New customers who want all the programming Sling TV has to offer can now subscribe to the Total TV Deal for $21 per month with a Sling Orange or Sling Blue service (an increase of $1 per month), or $27 per month for new customers subscribed to both Sling Orange and Sling Blue (increase of $2 per month). The Total TV Deal provides customers with DVR Plus and all seven Sling TV Extras (Sports Extra, Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Hollywood Extra and Heartland Extra), a value of up to $56 per month.


All Sling Orange and Sling Blue customers will receive a free preview of Sling TV’s “4 Extras Deal” through Feb. 15. The 4 Extras Deal provides customers with Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra and Comedy Extra for $12 per month (a savings of $12 per month if purchased separately).

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Sling TV also expanded its DVR offerings to all existing and new subscribers. Sling TV customers can now enjoy 50 hours of free DVR storage, an increase from 10 free storage hours, or upgrade to “DVR Plus” for 200 hours of storage, up from 50, for $5 per month.

“A robust DVR feature is a must-have for a premium entertainment experience — customers have told us they want more, and we delivered,” said Schwimmer in a statement. “By more than quadrupling DVR for all customers at no charge, Sling TV continues to provide the best value for pay-TV in the industry.”

All existing DVR Plus customers will automatically receive 200 hours in their storage, starting Jan. 28.

Documentary+ Streaming Service Launches

Global nonfiction streaming platform Documentary+ launched Jan. 28 offering feature-length and short documentary films.

The service, with a library ranging from Oscar winners to festival films, is available at no charge on streaming platforms including Apple TV, Amazon and Roku, mobile devices and www.docplus.com.

Documentary+ is a joint venture between nonfiction studio XTR and the late Tony Hsieh.

The service includes content from award-winning and nominated filmmakers including Spike Jonze, Kathryn Bigelow, Terrence Malick, Brett Morgen, Andrea Nevins, Roger Ross Williams, Zana Briski, Davis Guggenheim and Werner Herzog, as well as up-and-coming filmmakers including Lana Wilson (Miss Americana), Ramona S. Diaz (A Thousand Cuts), Nanfu Wang (One Child Nation), Clay Tweel (Gleason), Kareem Tabsch (Mucho Mucho Amor) and Laura Gabbert (Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles).

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The library includes classics such as The Imposter, Born into Brothels, Cartel Land, My Best Fiend, and Life, Animated, and features pop culture icons such as Michael Jordan (One Man and His Shoes), Christian Dior (Dior and I), Evel Knievel (Being Evel), Janis Joplin (Festival Express) and Pearl Jam (Hype!) alongside important political and historical figures such as Cory Booker (Street Fight), Elian Gonzalez (Elian) and Neil Armstrong (Armstrong).

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“There has never been a more exciting time for nonfiction — we’re seeing visionary new directors emerge and streaming has given documentary films wide new global audiences,” Bryn Mooser, co-founder of Documentary+ and CEO of XTR, said in a statement. “With Documentary+, not only are we building a home for some of the best documentary films of our time, but we’re giving filmmakers another option for distribution as competition continues to increase. The COVID pandemic created this great digital acceleration and we are building Documentary+ to be a key cornerstone in the future of the industry.”

Mooser’s documentary studio XTR has eight films premiering at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, making up 60% of all the documentaries in the U.S. competition. Since the company’s inception, XTR has invested in more than 40 documentaries, including You Cannot Kill David Arquette, Feels Good Man, 76 Days, Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, The Fight and more.

Parks: 43% of U.S. Broadband Households With Pay-TV Likely to Switch to Online TV in Next 12 months

New data from Parks Associates found 43% of U.S. broadband households with pay-TV are likely to switch to an online TV platform in the next 12 months. While the absence of live sports and live performances during the coronavirus pandemic created challenges for online TV, services such as Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV have been able to push the advantages in pricing, content and platform flexibility to drive subscriber growth.

Disney-owned Hulu with Live TV is now the largest online TV platform, with more than 4 million subscribers.

“Subscriber losses in traditional pay-TV continue, while the online TV category continues to grow, thanks to consumer price sensitivity and preferences for platform flexibility,” senior analyst Paul Erickson said in a statement. “Traditional pay-TV operators have online delivery in their roadmaps, if not already deployed. We expect online TV will continue to grow dramatically, and will gradually become the dominant offering in the pay-TV landscape.”

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Parks found that 17% of online TV subs switched from traditional pay-TV within the last twelve months. The factors driving defections include pricing and perceived value, while consumers positively respond to the flexibility of online TV to deliver unique and targeted content packages on a variety of connected entertainment platforms.

Prior to the pandemic’s effects on streaming video consumption, online TV sub growth was waning, with some services posting continued losses. Though COVID-19 has driven growth and in some cases recovery in the category, recent increases in online TV pricing make it uncertain how consumers will respond long term.

“Online TV has substantial opportunity if they can avoid the pitfalls that typically drive pay-TV customer dissatisfaction, such as rising prices and inflexible content and platform options,” Erickson said. “With content prices rising and competition increasing, online TV should remain conscious of consumer price sensitivity while keeping a strict adherence to a consumer-centric experience.”

Comcast CEO: Tokyo Summer Olympics Happening (Hopefully)

Comcast, parent of longtime Olympics broadcaster NBCUniversal, contends the delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will go on as scheduled, a hopeful Brian Roberts, chairman/CEO, said on the Jan. 28 fiscal call.

“Sitting here today, I believe there will be an Olympics,” Roberts said. “I hope there will be an Olympics. And I think that’s our best intelligence, at this time. And we’re excited about that.”

While the quadrennial sporting spectacle might not have an Olympic stadium filled with spectators, Roberts said the Games could be carried out the way other professional sports leagues have continued their seasons during the pandemic playing in front of empty stadiums.

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“That will be up to the host country [Japan] and the host committee,” Roberts said. “We’re very hopeful and believe that they’ll find a way to safely and successfully have the Olympics.”

China’s capital of Beijing is slated to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, also exclusively broadcast in the U.S. by NBC.

The Tokyo Games, previously slated for last July, were to have been a huge promotional plug for NBCUniversal’s just-launched Peacock streaming platform. NBCUniversal has fiscal insurance policies in place should the Games be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

In recent years, the Olympics has largely become a nationwide televised marketing event for American viewers showcasing Team USA, patriotism and individual achievement — against the backdrop of endless ads. That could continue during the pandemic with a healing effect, according to Roberts.

“For us, [the Olympics] is a television event and would be an amazing moment for the world to come back together post-what we’ve all globally been through [with the pandemic], which is so unprecedented,” Roberts said. “So we’re super hopeful and optimistic.”