Amazon Upped 2020 Content Spend 41% to $11 Billion

Among streamers such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu and Peacock, Amazon Prime Video remains relatively under the radar when it comes to publicized content spending.

So when founder/CEO Jeff Bezos released his final shareholder letter April 15, the world’s richest man threw out a lot of big numbers befitting a company tagged on Wall Street as No. 1 in market valuation. Not to be overlooked in the data dump: $11 billion in content spend on movies, TV shows and music in 2020. That’s up 41% from $7.8 billion in combined content spending in 2019.

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Netflix spent $11.8 billion on content in 2020, which was actually down almost 15% from $13.9 billion spent in 2019.

Amazon in recent years reduced content production as it focused monies on high-profile license agreements such as “NFL Thursday Night Football”, according to analyst Michael Pachter with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. He says Amazon is positioning to resume releasing original content at a steadier clip, as it had in the past. Amazon Studios recently installed a new, more comprehensive TV development team in place.

“We view [the move] as a way [for Amazon] to remain relevant in the face of heightened competition from various other streamers,” Pachter wrote in a note.

Separately, Bezos said the ecommerce pioneer created $126 billion in “value creation” economic benefit to consumers in 2020. He said most Amazon consumers complete 28% of their online purchases in three minutes or less, and half of all purchases are finished in less than 15 minutes.

When compared to the typical shopping trip to a physical store – driving,
parking, searching store aisles, waiting in the checkout line, finding your car, and driving home. Bezos said research suggests the typical physical store trip takes about an hour.

“If you assume that a typical Amazon purchase takes 15 minutes and that it saves you a couple of trips to a physical store a week, that’s more than 75
hours a year saved,” Bezos wrote.

Indeed, when valuing the time saved shopping through ecommerce at $10 per hour, Bezos estimates the average Amazon Prime member created $630 in annual “value creation” for themselves. A tally that skyrockets to $126 billion when multiplied by 200 million Prime members.

“That’s important,” wrote Bezos.

 

 

 

 

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Remains Top Disc Seller for Second Week

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Wonder Woman 1984 remained No. 1 for a second straight week on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended April 10.

In fact, the top three titles remained the same from the previous week, though the superhero sequel sold about five times as many copies as each of them.

No. 2 on both charts was Disney’s Soul, landing barely ahead of Universal Pictures’ News of the World at No. 3.

No. 4 on both charts was the week’s top newcomer, Lionsgate’s Shadow in the Cloud, which stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a World War II flight officer on a secret mission when her bomber is attacked by gremlins. The film was previously available on disc as a Redbox-exclusive rental from Vertical Entertainment. It had 43% of its first-week sales come from the Blu-ray format.

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The No. 5 overall seller, and No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart, was Warner’s two-pack of both “Wonder Woman” movies.

Sony Pictures’ Monster Hunter was the No. 5 Blu-ray seller (No. 7 overall).

Among other new releases, Lionsgate’s Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar debuted at No. 21 on the overall disc sales chart, but with 68% of its sales coming from the Blu-ray Disc edition, it was No. 7 on the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended March 21, Wonder Woman 1984, News of the World and Universal’s The Croods: A New Age were again the top three, in that order.

No. 4 was Screen Media’s Skyfire, followed at No. 5 by Barb & Star.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 4-10-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 4-11-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 4-10-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 4-10-21

1 1 Wonder Woman 1984 3/30/21 Warner
2 2 News of the World 3/23/21 Universal
3 3 The Croods: A New Age 2/23/21 Universal/DreamWorks
4 New Skyfire 4/6/21 Screen Media
5 New Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar 4/6/21 Lionsgate

Keep an eye on this space for detailed charts, coming soon.

SXSW Prize Winner ‘S#!%house’ Due on DVD and Blu-ray May 18 From IFC

The comedic romance S#!%house will come out on DVD and Blu-ray May 18 from IFC Films.

The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.

In the film, lonely college freshman Alex (writer/directory Cooper Raiff) has closed himself off from his peers who all appear to have college figured out. But everything changes one night when he takes a leap and attends a party at S#!%house — a legendary party fraternity — where he forges a strong connection with Maggie (Dylan Gelula, First Girl I Loves). The next day, she ignores him completely and seems to have forgotten about their amazing night. Desperately clinging to his social breakthrough, Alex pulls out all the stops with one more night at the fraternity, hoping to rekindle that moment of connection.

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Keeps Top Spot on Watched at Home Chart

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 held at No. 1 on the “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 10.

The DC-comic-based film, repeating in the top spot for a second week, continued to get a boost from its arrival on Blu-ray and DVD March 30 after being released though digital retailers on March 16 (a release preceded by PVOD and a simultaneous Christmas Day 2020 debut in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max).

News of the WorldThe Croods: A New Age and Monster Hunter all repeated in spots two through four, in order, from the previous week. The Oscar-nominated Promising Young Woman, which jumped from No. 6, rounded out the top five.

The comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, co-starring and co-written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids), entered the chart at No. 10 after coming out on Blu-ray and DVD April 6. Also new to the chart for the week was Willy’s Wonderland, starring Nicolas Cage, dropping in at No. 11. Shadow in the Cloud, starring Chloë Grace Moretz as a World War II flight officer on a secret mission when her bomber is attacked by gremlins, returned at No. 18 after its April 6 DVD and Blu-ray release in an otherwise steady chart.

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

The Western News of the World (No. 2) stars Tom Hanks as a Civil War veteran who makes a living reading newspapers to people in frontier towns and is tasked with returning a young white girl who had been captured and raised by Indians to her family.

Universal Pictures’ DreamWorks Animation sequel The Croods: A New Age (No. 3) features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Peter Dinklage and follows the caveman Crood family as they encounter the more civilized Bettermans.

Sony Pictures’ video game adaptation Monster Hunter (No. 4) stars Milla Jovovich as the leader of a military unit battling deadly creatures from another world.

Promising Young Woman (No. 5), nominated for five Oscars, stars Carey Mulligan as Cassie, whose promising future was derailed by a mysterious event.

  1. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner)
  2. News of the World (Universal)
  3. The Croods: A New Age (Universal)
  4. Monster Hunter (Sony)
  5. Promising Young Woman (Universal)
  6. Girl in the Basement (A+E)
  7. Greenland (Universal/STX)
  8. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  9. Soul (Disney)
  10. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Lionsgate)
  11. Willy’s Wonderland (Screen Media)
  12. Wrong Turn: The Foundation (Lionsgate)
  13. Let Him Go (Universal)
  14. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  15. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Warner)
  16. The Ten Commandments (Paramount)
  17. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  18. Shadow in the Cloud (Vertical Entertainment)
  19. The Vault (Lionsgate)
  20. Tenet (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 April 10.

Nielsen: ‘The Last Blockbuster’ Doc Resonated With TV Streamers

Netflix’s streaming of “The Last Blockbuster,” the documentary showcasing the video chain’s last operating store and company legacy, was a hit with Nielsen households. The data tracker said TV viewers streamed 133 million minutes of the doc for the period from March 15-21.

The doc took on special meaning considering it was Netflix’s by-mail DVD rental and subsequent SVOD business models that contributed to Blockbuster’s decline as the country’s largest home video store.

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Nielsen, which tracks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ viewership on household televisions, said the SVOD pioneer continues to dominate its weekly charts, with original series “Ginny & Georgia,” licensed show, “Criminal Minds,” and original movie, Yes Day, topping all charts.

Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

 

Licensed Content:

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

# of Episodes

Minutes (Millions)

1 Netflix “Grey’s Anatomy” 367 673
2 Netflix “Criminal Minds” 307 647
3 Netflix “NCIS” 353 569
4 Netflix “Cocomelon” 6 506
5 Netflix “Heartland” 158 458
6 Netflix “Schitt’s Creek” 80 400
7 Netflix “Supernatural” 328 358
8 Netflix “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” 458 319
9 Netflix “Gilmore Girls” 153 295
10 Netflix “New Girl” 146 289

Movies:

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

# of Episodes

Minutes (Millions)

1 Netflix Yes Day 1 593
2 Netflix Savages 1 434
3 Netflix Operation Varsity Blues  1 291
4 Netflix Deadly Illusions (2021)
1 279
5 Amazon Coming 2 America 1 273
6 Disney+ Moana 1 266
7 Disney+ Raya and The Last Dragon 1 203
8 Disney+ Frozen II 1 146
9 Netflix Parker (2013) 1 135
10 Netflix The Last Blockbuster 1 133

Netflix to Open Office in Colombia

Netflix will open an office in Bogotá, Colombia, the company announced.

“Ten years ago Colombia opened its doors to Netflix, a new way to enjoy the best series and movies directly in their homes,” read a Netflix announcement. “A few years later we embarked on our first local production and quickly witnessed the incredible talent of the country and the opportunity to create Colombian stories, by Colombians. This led to series such as ‘Siempre Bruja,’ ‘Distrito Salvaje,’ ‘Chichipatos,’ ‘Frontera Verde’ and ‘El Robo del Siglo’; comedy specials such as those of Liss Pereira, Ricardo Quevedo, Antonio Sanint, Julian Arango and Alejandro Riaño; and movies such as Lavaperros, but our story in Colombia is only starting.”

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The new office “will allow us to be even closer to the creative community and our members, taking Colombian stories to millions of homes around the world so that they can discover the incredible potential, talent, landscapes and culture of this country,” according to the Netflix announcement.

Additionally, through 2022, Netflix will bow more than 30 new projects, which include the already announced “Ritmo Salvaje,” “Locombianos,” “Juanpis,” “Nada Es Igual,” a comedy show starring Alejandra Azcárate, “Goles en Contra,” ‘Pálpito,” “Perfil Falso,” “Diomedes” and “Chichipatos” season two.

The titles are part of Netflix’s local content investment of more than $175 million since 2014, according to the announce.

Faith-Based ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Coming to DVD and VOD May 11

The faith-based film My Brother’s Keeper will arrive on DVD and VOD May 11 from Collide Distribution in partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film, which shares a story of faith and forgiveness in the wake of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was directed by Kevan Otto (A Question of Faith, Forgiven) and written by U.S. Army Veteran Ty Manns (A Question of Faith, The 5th quarter). The film stars T.C. Stallings (War Room, A Question of Faith), Joey Lawrence (“Melissa & Joey”, “Blossom,” “Hawaii Five-0”), Robert Ri’chard (Coach Carter, “Empire”) and Keshia Knight Pulliam (“The Cosby Show”).

My Brother’s Keeper follows the story of returning war veteran SFC Travis Fox (Stallings), who has one more battle to fight — PTSD.  Fox and his best friend Ron “Preach” Pearcy (Lawrence) are in their sixth combat deployment when Preach and his entire Ranger platoon are killed in a deadly improvised explosive device attack. Travis returns to his hometown to settle the affairs of his parents who had passed away years before. In searching for answers about his parents, he also discovers a new obstacle in PTSD. He finds support from church counselor Tiffany Robertson (Knight-Pulliam) and slowly begins to rediscover his faith in God, until he uncovers a secret hidden by his best friend Donnie Berry (Ri’chard) that threatens his new-found faith, restores his guilt and causes him to consider the unthinkable.

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The film also had a theatrical run.

“It was so encouraging that many theaters across the U.S. re-opened their theaters with My Brother’s Keeper, a desperately needed story of hope,” said Manns in a statement. “It is also an incredible honor that the film was able to play on military bases and at the National Infantry Museum. We pray that, as the film becomes available to larger audiences through home entertainment, the story continues to give encouragement to those struggling with issues of PTSD, forgiveness, and loss. A reminder that, no matter what the situation, there is always hope.”

LGBTQ+ Specialist Wolfe Video Cuts DVD, Blu-ray Disc Deal for Two Bleecker Street Films

Wolfe Video on April 15 announced that it has entered a home entertainment partnership with DECAL for two Bleecker Street films, Harry Macqueen’s Supernova and Mona Fastvold’s The World to Come.

Wolfe Video has already announced a DVD and Blu-ray Disc release date for Supernova on May 18; The World to Come will follow on June 1.

In The World to Come, a 19th century romance set in the American Northeast, Abigail (Katherine Waterston, “Fantastic Beasts” franchise), a farmer’s wife, and her new neighbor Tallie (Academy Award nominee Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman) find themselves irrevocably drawn to each other. A grieving Abigail tends to her withdrawn husband Dyer (Casey Affleck) as free spirit Tallie bristles at the jealous control of her husband Finney (Christopher Abbott). Together, their intimacy beings to fill a void in each other’s lives they never knew existed.

The World to Come had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded the prestigious Queer Lion award, before its domestic premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Bleecker Street released the film theatrically on Feb. 12 and digitally on March 2.

The World to Come was directed by Mona Fastvold (The Sleepwalker) from a screenplay by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard, and is based on an original story by Shepard. The film was produced by Sea Change Media, Killer Films, and M.Y.R.A. Entertainment, in association with Hype Film, Charades, Yellow Bear Films, Panasper Films Ltd. and Ingenious Media.

The deal was negotiated by Kathy Wolfe and Evan Schwartz from Wolfe Video and Kent Sanderson from Bleecker Street.

“We are excited to partner with the team at DECAL and Bleecker Street for these two special films in the LGBTQ+ genre,” said Schwartz, VP of content at Wolfe Video. “With Wolfe’s home video expertise and long-time presence in the LGBTQ+ community, we believe LGBTQ+ and mainstream audiences will hold a place for Supernova and The World to Come in their physical media collections.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Wolfe on these two beautiful films,” said Kent Sanderson, president of acquisitions and ancillary distribution at Bleecker Street. “They have proven themselves to be leaders in the space and we know that they will help us continue to find new audiences to enjoy Harry and Mona’s work.”

Each DVD and Blu-ray Disc will include behind-the-scenes featurettes, English closed captions, English audio descriptions and Spanish subtitles.

Founded in 1985, Wolfe Video says it is the largest exclusive distributor of lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) films.

Netflix Quietly Bows Movies in Theaters — Ahead of Streaming

Netflix was the first movie producer to flaunt the traditional theatrical window, contending its original feature films should be made available to subscribers concurrent with any box office exhibition. The streamer’s stance angered exhibitors, resulting in most Netflix movies being boycotted by theatrical chains.

Then came the pandemic and traditional mindsets and business practices gave way to change.

During the pandemic, Netflix quietly entered the theatrical market after negotiating a distribution deal with No. 3 U.S. exhibitor Cinemark. In November and December, respectively, Netflix released Christmas Chronicles 2 and The Prom on Cinemark screens for an exclusive one-week window before they streamed on Netflix platform.

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“We assume that Netflix negotiated a much lower film rent fee with Cinemark than studios do for a typical theatrical window, and lower than what Universal Pictures will pay exhibitors for its exclusive 17/31-day windows,” Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, wrote in a note.

Netflix, which has become a perennial Oscar contender with its original movies, hasn’t been shy from debuting titles in Los Angeles theaters to assuage industry awards rules. The streamer bowed Klaus, The Two Popes, Marriage Story, The Irishman​, The King, and The Laundromat​ on the big screen prior to its platform.

Last year, Netflix acquired the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, in part to debut premiere original movies. American Cinematheque, the non-profit organization that previously owned the Egyptian, will continue to screen movies on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Pachter said Apple TV+ released its original documentary, Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, on its platform day-and-date with a theatrical release. He said tickets were available a week ahead of its Cinemark availability, but it was released on Feb. 26 in theatres and on the streaming platform. With no exclusive theatrical window, Pachter believes Apple negotiated a smaller film rental fee with Cinemark compared to what Netflix received, and both streamers received less in compensation than studios with longer exclusive theatrical windows.

“While these are clearly exceptional times and exhibitors are willing to negotiate terms they typically would not have in a pre-COVID environment, we think these types of negotiations will continue, and we expect to see more original content from streamers playing in theatres post-pandemic,” Pachter wrote. “We think exhibitors are now more willing to negotiate favorable terms with far more flexible windows than they had in the past, as long as their counterpart is willing to pay.”

Clint Eastwood Film ‘In the Line of Fire’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray June 15

The 1993 Clint Eastwood film In the Line of Fire will come out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, remastered with High Dynamic Range, on June 15 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film from director Wolfgang Peterson, Eastwood stars as Frank Horrigan, a veteran Secret Service agent haunted by his failure to protect John F. Kennedy from assassination. Thirty years later, he gets a chance to redeem himself when a brilliant psychopath threatens to kill the current president and take Horrigan with him. Taunting him by phone and tantalizing him with clues, the assassin (John Malkovich) lures Horrigan into a battle of wits and will that only one man can survive. The film co-stars Rene Russo as Horrigan’s risk-taking Field Chief.

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The release features Dolby Atmos audio, original theatrical 5.1, and original theatrical stereo. Special features include audio commentary with Petersen, five deleted scenes, several featurettes and a theatrical teaser. The release does not include a regular Blu-ray copy but does come with a digital copy, for a limited time.