Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Ups Q2 Revenue, Fiscal Loss

Ad-supported VOD distributor Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Aug. 11 reported a net loss of $20 million on revenue of $37.6 million during the second quarter, ended June 30. That compared with a net loss of $11 million on revenue of $22.1 million during the previous-year period.

Cos Cob, Conn.-based Chicken Soup, whose AVOD platforms include Crackle Plus, earlier in the day closed the acquisition of Redbox Entertainment.

William J. Rouhana Jr.,

William J. Rouhana Jr., chairman and CEO of Chicken Soup, said the AVOD distributor’s quarterly revenue growth reflected “terrific execution” by the company’s ad sales team, underscored by strong viewership growth, and increased user time spent on the company’s tech platform.

“[The Redbox deal] gives us immediate scale, growing our film and television library to over 51,000 titles, 36,000 [Redbox] kiosks, establishing a broad complement of AVOD, TVOD and FAST channel services reaching millions of viewers across dozens of platforms,” Rouhana Jr. said in a statement.

The executive said the collective assets of Chicken Soup and Redbox create an entertainment company that he believes would generate more than $500 million in revenue and $100-$150 million in pre-tax earnings on an annualized basis.

“We delivered outstanding results in our last quarter ahead of the transformational acquisition of Redbox,” Rouhana Jr. said.

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ Again Dominated Weekly Household Streaming Through July 17

Netflix’s fourth season of original series “Stranger Things,” along with episodes from the previous three seasons, generated a combined 2.95 billion minutes streamed across U.S. household televisions for the week of July 11-17.

The tally was enough to hold off the combined minutes of Netflix original animated movie The Sea Beast, which generated 920 million minutes, as well as Amazon Prime VIdeo’s “The Terminal List,” which generated 887 million minutes across eight episodes.

“Stranger Things” remains Netflix’s most-viewed English-language original series, with the fourth season topping every week of Nielsen’s Top 10 chart since its May 27 debut.

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Rank SVOD Provider Program Name # of Episodes Minutes (Millions)
1 Netflix Stranger Things 34 2.947 billion
2 Netflix The Sea Beast (2022) 1 920 million
3 Amazon Prime Video The Terminal List 8 887
4 Netflix Resident Evil (2022) 8 858
5 Amazon Prime Video The Boys 24 828
6 Netflix/Hulu Alone 49 818
7 Netflix NCIS 354 736
8 Netflix The Umbrella Academy 30 714
9 Netflix Cocomelon 18 692
10 Netflix Grey’s Anatomy 396 635

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

Original Content

Rank SVOD Provider Program Name # of Episodes Minutes (Millions)
1 Netflix Stranger Things 34 2.947 billion
2 Prime Video The Terminal List 8 887
3 Netflix Resident Evil (2022) 8 858
4 Prime Video The Boys 24 828
5 Netflix The Umbrella Academy 30 714
6 Hulu Only Murders in the Building 14 369
7 Disney+ Ms. Marvel 6 357
8 Netflix D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! 4 351
9 Netflix Peaky Blinders 36 320
10 Netflix Ozark 44 276

Licensed Content

Rank SVOD Provider Program Name # of Episodes Minutes (Millions)
1 Netflix/Hulu Alone 49 818
2 Netflix NCIS 354 736
3 Netflix Cocomelon 18 692
4 Netflix Grey’s Anatomy 396 635
5 Netflix The Flash 171 529
6 Netflix Gilmore Girls 153 431
7 HBO Max Friends 235 423
8 Netflix Seinfeld 172 397
9 Netflix Heartland 223 393
10 Netflix Supernatural 327 373

Movies

Rank SVOD Provider Program Name # of Episodes Minutes (Millions)
1 Netflix The Sea Beast (2022) 1 920
2 Netflix Sing 2 1 632
3 Netflix Girl in the Picture (2022) 1 483
4 Netflix 12 Strong 1 477
5 HBO Max The Bob’s Burgers Movie 1 431
6 Netflix Persuasion (2022) 1 353
7 Disney+ Zombies 3 1 332
8 Netflix Chips (2017) 1 300
9 Netflix The Man from Toronto 1 254
10 Disney+ Encanto 1 221

‘Doctor Strange 2,’ ‘Lost City’ Remain Atop Disc Sales Charts

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness remained 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 Aug. 6.

No. 2 on both charts, selling 68% as many copies as the top seller, was again Paramount’s The Lost City, a romantic comedy adventure movie starring Sandra Bullock.

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No. 3 on both charts was Warner’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

No. 4 was Paramount’s original 1986 Top Gun at No. 4 (No. 12 on the Blu-ray chart). Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: No Way Home was No. 5 on both charts.

The No. 4 Blu-ray was Everything Everywhere All at Once, which was No. 9 overall.

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The Media Play News rental chart the week ended Aug. 7 had Lost City in the top spot again. Doctor Strange 2 made its first appearance on the rental chart at No. 2 after a week’s delay.

The Redbox-exclusive Vertical Entertainment thriller Last Seen Alive slipped to No. 3, Universal Pictures’ The Bad Guys dropped to No. 4, and Sony Pictures’ Morbius remained No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 8-6-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 8-6-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 8-6-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 8-6-22

Horror Classic ‘Poltergeist’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital Sept. 20

The 1982 horror classic Poltergeist will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital  Sept. 20 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Written by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper, the film stars JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Zelda Rubinstein, Beatrice Straight and Heather O’Rourke.

In the film, suburbanites Steve (Nelson) and Diane (Williams) suddenly experience paranormal activity in their home. What starts off as minor excitement quickly turns into nasty ghostly encounters. The disappearance of their daughter Carol Anne (O’Rourke) forces the Freelings to bring in parapsychologists and a professional exorcist.

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Special features on the Blu-ray Disc include “They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists Pt. 1 — Science of the Spirits”; “They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists Pt. 2 — Communing with the Dead”; “The Making of Poltergeist”; and the trailer.

Tubi Expanding in Latin America

Tubi Aug. 11 announced it would expand its ad-supported VOD footprint in Latin America this month with launches in Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama. The five new territories join Tubi’s current offering in Mexico, where the platform debuted in 2020.

Tubi’s library in the region will be localized in Spanish-language and available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV as well as Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, in addition to LG TVs, Samsung TVs, Microsoft Store on Windows, VIDAA Smart OS on Hisense TVs, as well as Amazon Fire TV Stick devices and Roku TV and players in select countries. Consumers can also watch Tubi content on the web.

Movies, including The Green Hornet, Hellboy, American Psycho, Gridiron Gang, Snatch, Machete, Hook, The Other Guys, The House Bunny, The Social Network, Obsessed and La Bamba as well as TV series including “L.A.’s Finest” and “Masters of Sex” will stream for free on Tubi in all five new territories.

Additionally, regionally produced TV series will soon be available, including Mexico’s “Bienvenida Realidad,” “Atrapada” and “El Sexo Debil;” as well as local versions of popular series such as “The Nanny,” “Bewitched,” and “Married with Children.”

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“We’re eager to expand deeper into Latin America after the stellar success of Tubi in Mexico, which has seen tremendous growth in such a short amount of time,” Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer, Tubi, said in a statement.

Over the last year in Mexico, Tubi has seen total viewing time (TVT) grow 60% year-over-year and Total Viewers grow 40% year-over-year. Partnered with TV Azteca, one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language content in the world, Tubi serves as the free streaming home in Mexico to TV Azteca’s popular titles.

’80s Classic ‘The Lost Boys’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital Sept. 20

The 1987 classic The Lost Boys will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital Sept. 20 by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, the comedic horror film follows Michael (Patric) and Sam Emerson (Haim), who after their parent’s divorce move with their mother to their grandfather’s house in a California town nicknamed “The Murder Capital of the World.” Soon after arriving, Michael gets involved with a hell-raising motorcycle gang of vampires with a charismatic leader (Sutherland).  When Sam becomes involved with the Frog Brothers (Feldman and Jamison Newlander), who confess to being undercover Vampire hunters, he realizes it’s up to them to save Michael and the rest of the town from the vampire gang.

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The cast also includes Jami Gertz, Edward Herrmann, Barnard Hughes, Dianne Wiest, Jamison Newlander and Alex Winter.

The 4K disc includes commentary with Schumacher. Special features on the Blu-ray Disc include his commentary, several featurettes, the trailer, the Lou Gramm “Lost in the Shadows” music video, and “The Lost Scenes.”

Doc ‘Escape From Kabul’ to Stream on HBO Max Sept. 21

The HBO Original documentary film Escape From Kabul will debut on HBO and HBO Max Sept. 21.

Directed by Jamie Roberts (HBO’s Four Hours at the Capitol) and executive produced by Dan Reed (HBO’s Leaving Neverland and Four Hours at the Capitol), the documentary unfolds over 18 days in August 2021,  from the U.S. withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan  through the subsequent evacuation of tens of thousands of Afghan citizens from Kabul airport after the Taliban seized the city. The film combines never-before-seen archival footage from those on the ground at the airport, with exclusive interviews with people who were there throughout the period, including Afghan citizens attempting to flee, U.S. Marines tasked with managing the evacuation, and Taliban commanders and fighters who had recently taken the city.
 
After 20 years of war between the Taliban, (an Islamic fundamentalist group) and NATO forces, a small force of U.S. Marines were deployed to Kabul on Aug. 13 intending to evacuate U.S. citizens and “at risk” Afghans who had cooperated with the Americans and Allied Forces during the conflict. The orderly evacuation was meant to be implemented by the agreed-upon deadline of Aug. 31, but when the Taliban unexpectedly took control of the city two days after the Marines arrived, plans changed.
 
Fearing reprisals and crackdowns on human rights from the Taliban, thousands of Afghan men, women and children rushed to the airport, seeking an escape route. Taliban fighters, including suicide troops, encircled the airport perimeter in an uneasy truce with U.S. and Allied forces. With little advance planning, U.S. Marines battled daily to reclaim the overwhelmed airfield, all while a humanitarian catastrophe unfolded, with Afghan citizens spending days on end in the Kabul heat, without access to food or water, waiting to get through the gates to the airport. As the crowds grew increasingly desperate to leave, a tragic sequence of events unfolded, including a devastating suicide bomb attack that ISIS claimed responsibility for, killing 13 U.S. military personnel and more than 170 Afghan civilians. 

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Despite the chaos and suffering, 124,000 people were evacuated during the Kabul airlift, the largest in modern U.S. history, marking a devastating end to America’s longest-running war.  A final coda, filmed in spring of 2022, confirms the Taliban government’s restrictions on women and girls and violent reprisals, leaving an uncertain future for many Afghan citizens who were not able to evacuate in August 2021.

‘Get Mean,’ ‘Love Camp 7’ Headed to Disc Aug. 23 From MVD and Blue Underground

The Western Get Mean and the erotic film Love Camp 7 are being released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Aug. 23 from MVD Entertainment Group and Blue Underground.

In Get Mean (1975), when an American cowboy stumbles upon a gypsy family in a wind-swept ghost town, they offer him a fortune to escort a princess back to her home in Spain. But this silent stranger finds himself in over his head (and strung up by his feet) when he gets caught in the middle of an epic battle involving Vikings, the Moors, brutal barbarians, evil spirits, a raging bull, and a diabolical Shakespeare-quoting hunchback. Tired of their never-ending attempts to kill him, the cowboy arms himself to the teeth with guns, dynamite and a special surprise. Special features include audio commentary with producer/star Tony Anthony, co-writer/star Lloyd Battista, and executive producer Ronald J. Schneider; “The Story of the Stranger,” an interview with Anthony; “Looking for Richard,” an interview with Battista; “Beating a Dead Horse,” an interview with Schneider; “Tony & I,” an interview with director Ferdinando Baldi; deleted scenes; the theatrical trailer; the French trailer; radio spots; and a poster and still gallery.

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In Love Camp 7 (1969), during the darkest days of World War II, two young American WAC officers volunteer to infiltrate a depraved Nazi Love Camp on a desperate rescue mission. Once inside, they are subjected to unspeakable indignities and horrifying humiliations at the hands of their sadistic captors. Launching the notorious “Nazisploitation” craze of the 1970s, the film comes from writer/producer/star Bob Cresse (The Scavengers), producer Dave Friedman (Blood Feast), and director/cinematographer Lee Frost (The Black Gestapo). One of the 72 U.K. video nasties — banned in Britain to this day — the film is presented in the original uncensored version in a 4K restoration from its recently discovered camera negative. Special features include “Nazithon: Decadence and Destruction”; the theatrical trailer; and a poster and still gallery.

Cinedigm’s Chris McGurk to Keynote OTT.X Fall Summit

Cinedigm chairman and CEO Chris McGurk will be the keynote speaker at the annual OTT.X Fall Summit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles Aug. 31-Sept. 1.

Chris McGurk

Activities for this year’s summit, produced by the trade organization, include two days of conference programming, multiple workshop and breakout tracks, research insights via the research roundup, exhibitor booths and tabletops, one-on-one pre-scheduled business meetings, networking breakfasts, lunches, and industry cocktail parties.

The event will feature more than 70 speakers discussing topics such as maximizing ad revenue for FAST channels, progress toward better search and discovery, distributing and windowing content across business models, globalization of content, metadata, and rights management. Panels include “Growing Your Footprint,” “Distributing and Windowing Content Across Business Models,” “Progress Toward Better Search and Discovery” and “Fast Track: Maximizing Ad Revenue.”

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Research institutions presenting their latest insights include Comscore, nScreenMedia, Omdia, Slalom, The NPD Group and Vorhaus Advisors

The OTT.X Fall Summit is free for all OTT.X members and $500 for non-members. Media Play News readers can register here for a 10% discount using promo code FS22MPN10.

‘The Phantom of the Open’ Due on Digital Aug. 16, Disc Aug. 30

The dramatic comedy The Phantom of the Open will be released on digital Aug. 16 and on DVD and Blu-ray Aug. 30 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film tells the true story of Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance), a dreamer and unrelenting optimist. The humble crane operator from Barrow-in-Furness managed to gain entry to the British Open Golf Championship qualifying in 1976, despite never playing a round of golf before. He shot the worst round in Open history and drew the ire of the golfing elite, but became a folk hero in the process and, more importantly, showed his family the importance of pursuing your dreams.

Special features include the “Finding Flitcroft” featurette.

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