Sony Pictures Q1 Home Entertainment Revenue Surged 104% Thanks to ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment July 29 reported first-quarter FY 2023 revenue of $282 million for the period ended June 30. The tally was up 104% from revenue of $138 million during the previous-year period.

Notable revenue driver included the enduring Spider-Man: No Way Home, which continued to resonate with consumers on digital and packaged media the same way it had at the box office. The latest webslinger actioner generated more than $1.9 billion at the global box office, including more than $804 million across North American screens since its Dec. 15, 2021, release.

At the box office in the first quarter, Sony Pictures was led by Marvel Studios’ Morbius and Mark Wahlberg-starrer Father Stu, which generated a combined $189 million in ticket sales through June 30. Sony’s motion picture revenue topped $953 million, up 31% from $727 million in the prior-year period. In addition to home entertainment, the motion picture segment included revenue from theatrical ($116 million), television production ($151 million), streaming video licensing ($351 million) and “others” ($53 million).

Total studio operating income topped $394 million on revenue exceeding $2.6 billion. That compared with operating income of $232 million on revenue of $1.8 billion during the previous-year period.

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‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Returns to Top of Disc Sales Charts

Taking advantage of a slow period for big-name new arrivals on Blu-ray and DVD, the third “Fantastic Beasts” movie returned to the top spot on the national disc sales charts its fourth week on shelves.

Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was No. 1 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 July 23.

The “Harry Potter” prequel and 11th entry in the “Wizarding World” franchise had 55% of its total fourth-week sales come from Blu-ray Disc formats, with 10% from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and 45% from regular Blu-ray.

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The previous week’s top overall seller, Universal’s Downton Abbey: A New Era, slipped to No. 2 in its third week, selling about 72% as many copies as the top title. It was No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart.

The week’s top newcomer, at No. 5 overall and No. 3 on the Blu-ray Disc chart, was Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ The Bob’s Burgers Movie, based on the long-running animated TV series “Bob’s Burgers.” It sold about 56% as many copies as the top title.

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Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 70% of total first-week Bob’s Burgers sales. In particular, 35% came from regular Blu-ray and 35% came from a Best Buy-exclusive 4K Ultra HD Steelbook edition.

The Media Play News rental chart the week ended July 24 was topped by Vertical Entertainment’s Last Seen Alive, a thriller available on disc exclusively at Redbox for the next few weeks.

Universal’s Memory dropped to No. 2, while the same studios’ The Bad Guys was No. 3. Sony Pictures’ Morbius remained No. 4.

No. 5 was a new release, The Forgiven, a thriller about a wealthy couple covering up a tragedy during a foreign vacation. It, too, is a Vertical Entertainment release available early at Redbox.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 7-23-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 7-24-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 7-23-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 7-23-22
Sales Report for Week Ended 7-23-22
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 7-25-22

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ Clobbered Weekly Streaming Competition Through July 3

Netflix continued its weekly dominance at the beginning of the month, logging seven of the top 10 most-streamed programs across U.S. household television screens. Nielsen said the streamer’s quirky sci-fi series “Stranger Things” generated a whopping 5.9 billion minutes across 34 episodes to easily top Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” with more than 2.2 billion minutes across 20 episodes.

Universal Pictures’ Sing 2 (on Netflix) was third with 1.25 billion minutes, and Amazon Prime Video’s “The Terminal List” followed with 1.1 billion minutes across eight episodes.

Roku Blames Economy for Q2 Miss as Net Loss Mushrooms

Roku July 28 proved naysayers correct, reporting a second-quarter net loss of more than $112.2 million compared to income of $73.5 million during the previous-year period. Revenue increased 18.5% to $764 million from $645.1 million last year, with player sales dropping almost 20% to $91.2 million, from $112.8 million.

Roku added 1.8 million incremental active accounts to reach 63.1 million. Streaming hours topped 20.7 billion hours, up 19% (3.3 billion hours) from 17.4 billion hours in the previous-year period. Notably, total viewing time was down 0.2 billion hours from the first quarter.

In the shareholder letter, CEO Anthony Wood and CFO Steve Louden suggested that a “significant slowdown” in TV advertising spend in the quarter due to the macro-economic environment “pressured” platform revenue growth. In response to inflationary pressures, the executives believe consumers began to moderate their discretionary spending, and advertisers significantly curtailed spending in the “ad scatter market” (TV ads bought during the quarter).

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“We expect these challenges to continue in the near term as economic concerns pressure markets worldwide,” they wrote. “In response, we took steps to significantly slow both operating expense and headcount growth.”

Wood and Louden said they remain confident in Roku’s industry leadership in TV streaming, the size of the market opportunity, and the company’s unique assets, including the Roku TV OS, The Roku Channel, and the ad platform.

Indeed, Roku said it surpassed a milestone with $1 billion in upfront advertising commitments going forward.

Wall Street remains less confident. Roku’s stock is down more than 25% in aftermarket trading.

Apple Ups Q3 Services Revenue 12% to $19.6 Billion

Apple July 28 reported third-quarter (ended June 25) services revenue of $19.6 billion, up 12% from revenue of $17.5 billion during the previous-year period. Services revenue includes sales of movies and TV shows on iTunes, the App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple News+, among others.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant posted a June quarter revenue record of $83 billion, up 2% from $81.4 billion year over year.
“This quarter’s record results speak to Apple’s constant efforts to innovate, to advance new possibilities, and to enrich the lives of our customers,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “As always, we are leading with our values, and expressing them in everything we build, from new features that are designed to protect user privacy and security, to tools that will enhance accessibility, part of our longstanding commitment to create products for everyone.”

Meanwhile, iPhone sales increased 3% to $40.6 billion, compared with $39.5 billion in the previous-year quarter — underscoring sustained appeal of the new iPhone 13 model.

Mac sales fell 11% to $7.4 billion, from $8.2 billion a year ago Apple iPad revenue notched down 2% to $7.2 billion, from $7.4 billion. Wearables and home accessories revenue dropped 8% to $8 billion, from $8.8 billion.

Amazon Q2 Online Sales Dip, Services Revenue Increases 10%

Amazon July 28 reported a 4% decline in second-quarter (ended June 30) online sales to $50.8 billion, from $53.1 billion during the previous-year period.

Online sales include media products sold in physical (DVD/Blu-ray Disc) and digital formats, including books, games, videos and software.

Subscription revenue, which includes Prime (and Prime Video) memberships, audiobooks, e-books, digital music and other non-Amazon Web Services revenue, increased 10% to $8.71 billion, compared to $7.9 billion last year.

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In Q2 entertainment highlights, former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman will join Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez as analysts for Prime Video’s NFL “Thursday Night Football” pregame, halftime and postgame coverage. Sports anchor Charissa Thompson will host the shows. Venerable sportscaster Al Michaels and Emmy-winning analyst Kirk Herbstreit will call the live action games.

Prime Video received 30 Emmy nominations, and MGM received seven nominations. Prime Video’s nominations included “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Lucy and Desi,” “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” “The Academy of Country Music Awards,” “The Boys Presents: Diabolical,” “Goliath,” “Savage X Fenty Show” and “A Very British Scandal.” MGM’s nominations included “Vikings: Valhalla,” “The Voice,” “Shark Tank” and “Survivor.”

“The Boys” continued to grow its audience with the debut of Season Three. Over its premiere weekend, the Emmy-nominated superhero drama increased its worldwide audience by 234% from season one and 17% from season two.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” continued to build anticipation in the lead-up to its premiere. The release of new images, a teaser trailer, and a 60-second sneak peek for Prime members on Prime Day all preceded the debut of a three-minute trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. The long trailer was unveiled to a crowd of 6,500 fans during a panel with the show’s cast —moderated by Stephen Colbert — in the convention’s largest venue before being released globally. “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” launches exclusively on Prime Video in 240 countries and territories and 33 different languages on Sept. 2.

Prime Video debuted five new Original series: “The Terminal List,” starring Chris Pratt; “The Summer I Turned Pretty”; “Chloe”; “The One That Got Away”; and “Forever Summer: Hamptons.” In addition, adult animated series “Undone” and “Fairfax” each returned for second seasons. Prime Video premiered three new Original movies: Sundance Film Festival award-winner Emergency; Don’t Make Me Go, starring John Cho and Mia Isaac; and Anything’s Possible, directed by Billy Porter.

Prime Video’s international slate grew with the debut of more than 25 local Originals and live sporting events. New global programming includes “Yosi, the Regretful Spy” (Argentina), “The Kids in the Hall” (Canada), “Modern Love Mumbai” (India), “Bang Bang Baby” (Italy), and “Lovestruck High” (U.K.). Sports programming includes Roland-Garros French Open tennis in France, the Australian Swimming Championships, and live boxing in Japan.

The ad-supported, free streaming content service Amazon Freevee received its first major award win for “Judy Justice,” starring Judge Judy Sheindlin, which earned a Daytime Emmy. Freevee also premiered three new Original series — “Bosch: Legacy,” one of the 10 most-streamed shows across all services in May, according to streaming hub Reelgood; crime drama “Troppo”; and home-renovation series “Hollywood Houselift” with Jeff Lewis — and one original film, Love Accidentally.

Prime Video Channels expanded its portfolio to offer more premium Spanish-language content with the addition of Vix+, TelevisaUnivisions’ streaming service. Prime Video Channels offer customers additional paid subscriptions to third-party premium networks and other streaming entertainment channels, such as Discovery+, Paramount+, AMC+, Globo, BET+, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, Starz and Showtime.

HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’ Top New Show, Netflix’s ‘Locke & Key’ Top Returning Show Anticipated in August

HBO’s “House of the Dragon” was the top anticipated new show, Netflix’s “Locke & Key” was the most anticipated returning show, and Bullet Train was the top anticipated movie on the Whip Media charts for August.

“House of the Dragon,” which in addition to airing on HBO starts streaming Aug. 21 on HBO Max, is the much-anticipated prequel to “Game of Thrones,” set 200 years before that hit series and chronicling the saga of the House of Targaryen.

“Locke & Key,” season three of which debuts on Netflix Aug. 10, is a fantasy horror drama based on the comic book series of the same name. It follows a family that takes residence in the family home, Keyhouse, after the father is murdered.

Sony Pictures’ Bullet Train is an action comedy starring Joey King, Brad Pitt, Karen Fukuhara and Sandra Bullock. The film, which debuts Aug. 5, follows a trained killer (Pitt) who wants to give up the life but is pulled back in by his handler (Bullock) to acquire a briefcase on a bullet train.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users, according to the company. TV Time’s “Anticipation Report” is based on data from those users.


Most Anticipated New Shows for August:

  1. “House of the Dragon” (HBO) — Aug. 21
  2. “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” (Disney+) — Aug. 17
  3. “Andor” (Disney+) — Aug. 31
  4. “The Sandman” (Netflix) — Aug. 5
  5. “I Am Groot” (Disney+) — Aug. 10


Most Anticipated Returning Shows for August:

  1. “Locke & Key” (Netflix) — Aug. 10
  2. “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix) — Aug. 12
  3. “Reservation Dogs” (Hulu) — Aug. 3
  4. “See” (Apple TV+) — Aug. 26
  5. “Kevin Can F**k Himself” (AMC+) — Aug. 22


Most Anticipated Movies for August:

  1. Bullet Train — Aug. 5
  2. Day Shift — Aug. 12
  3. Prey — Aug. 5
  4. Bodies Bodies Bodies — Aug. 5
  5. Luck — Aug. 5
  6. Look Both Ways — Aug. 17
  7. Beast — Aug. 19
  8. Orphan: First Kill — Aug. 19
  9. Secret Headquarters — Aug. 12
  10. They/Them — Aug. 5

Paramount+ Renews Original Series ‘iCarly’ for Third Season

Paramount+ has renewed original series”iCarly” reboot for a third season.

The 10-episode second season completed its run earlier this spring with a cliffhanger. Season three will go into production later this year and will premiere in 2023 exclusively on Paramount+ around the world.

“iCarly’s loyal fan base grew up with Carly, Spencer and Freddie, and have now fallen in love with Harper and Millicent, too,” Tanya Giles, chief programming officer of streaming for Paramount+, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have Miranda, Jerry, Nathan, Laci and Jaidyn return for a third season and we know Paramount+’s growing YA audience is as well. And I, for one, must find out what happens with #Creddie.”

Seasons one and two of the new “iCarly” are available to stream exclusively on Paramount+. All seasons of the original are also available on the streaming platform.

“iCarly” stars Miranda Cosgrove as Carly, Jerry Trainor as Spencer, Nathan Kress as Freddie, Laci Mosley as Harper and Jaidyn Triplett as Millicent. “iCarly” for Paramount+ is produced by Nickelodeon Studios.

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Nickelodeon’s original “iCarly” series, which ran from 2007 to 2012, followed a group of best friends as they created a webcast for and about kids their age while grappling with everyday problems and adventures.

Giant Interactive Sold to Global QC Company Testronic Labs

Giant Interactive has been acquired by Testronic Labs, a global QC and localization company providing services to publishers and developers around the world.

According to a July 28 press release from Testronic, “this move will enable
Giant Interactive to greatly expand their capacity and services domestically and internationally. Together, we will make a significant investment in people and infrastructure. The result of this acquisition will immediately create a bigger, stronger company that can meet the increasing demands of our clients to deliver more content to a growing number of streaming platforms domestically and internationally.”

Jeff Stabenau

Expansion of facilities in both New York and Burbank are already underway, according to the release, as is the establishment of a content delivery services branch in Warsaw, where Testronic has an office with more than 800 people.

Jeff Stabenau, the founder and president of Giant Interactive, said, “We have partnered with Testronic on many projects over the years and know them to be a high-end company that executes to perfection. This expansion will enable Giant to better serve our clients throughout the U.S. and internationally, transforming Giant Interactive into a truly global provider.”

Giant Pictures, Giant Interactive’s content distribution company, will continue to operate as a separate stand-alone business and is not a part of this deal.

‘Starship Troopers’ Gets 4K Blu-ray Disc Steelbook for 25th Anniversary

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the sci-fi classic Starship Troopers with a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc Steelbook and all-cast reunion on Nov. 1.

Director Paul Verhoeven’s epic is based on Robert A. Heinlein’s classic sci-fi adventure of the same name. Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Muldoon and Michael Ironside star as the courageous soldiers who travel to the distant and desolate Klendathu system for the ultimate showdown between the species.

For the 4K Ultra HD release, the film is presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio + 5.1. The package includes a new 25th anniversary reunion featurette with screenwriter Ed Neumeier and actors Van Dien, Richards, Meyer, Clancy Brown, Ironside, Busey, Muldoon and Seth Gilliam.

For the Blu-ray Disc, the film is presented in HD with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio. Special features include director and cast commentaries, a FedNet Mode picture-in-picture, deleted scenes, screen tests, a making-of featurette, scene deconstructions, and several other documentaries.