‘Elvis’ Remains No. 1 on DVD and Blu-ray Sales Charts for Second Week

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Elvis 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 Sept. 24.

In fact, four of the top five titles on both charts carried over from the top five the previous week.

No. 2 on both charts was Universal’s animated sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru, which sole about 78% as many copies during the week as director Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.

No. 3 on the overall disc chart was Sony Pictures’ Where the Crawdad Sings, the adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name about an abandoned girl who raises herself in the woods. It slipped to No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart.

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Universal’s Jurassic World Dominion remained No. 5 on the overall disc sales chart, while rising to No. 3 on the Blu-ray chart.

The week’s top newcomer, at No. 4 on both charts, was Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s DVD and Blu-ray release of Outlander: Season Six. Blu-ray accounted for 45% of total unit sales for the Starz time travel fantasy series.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Sept. 25 had Where the Crawdads Sing rising two spots to No. 1. Minions: The Rise of Gru stayed No. 2, while Elvis dropped to No. 3.

Quiver’s Bandit, which has an early disc rental window at Redbox, was No. 4, while Jurassic World Dominion was No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 9-24-22
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 9-25-22
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 9-24-22
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 9-24-22
Sales Report for Week Ended 9-24-22
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 9-26-22

Netflix’s ‘Do Revenge’ Tops Weekly Whip U.S. Streaming Movies Chart

Netflix’s Do Revenge topped the Whip Media chart of streaming movies among U.S. consumers Sept. 23-25.

An updated twist on the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller Strangers on a Train, the movie follows two high school girls who make a pact to exact revenge on each other’s rival. It began streaming Sept. 16.

Landing at No. 2 on the chart was Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which began streaming on Disney+ Sept. 8. The superhero film finds the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — one of self-discovery. But his efforts are interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods.

Taking the No. 3 spot on the chart was Netflix’s Lou, which began streaming Sept. 23. The movie, starring Allison Janney, follows a mysterious loner living a quiet life with her dog who battles the elements and her own dark past when a neighbor’s little girl is kidnapped during a storm. 

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

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Taking the No. 4 spot on the chart was Meet Cute, which started streaming on Peacock Sept. 21. The romantic comedy follows the story of Sheila (Kaley Cuoco) and Gary (Pete Davidson). When they meet, it’s love at first sight — until viewers realize their magical date wasn’t fate at all. Sheila’s got a time machine, and they’ve been falling in love over and over again. When the perfect night is never quite enough, Sheila travels to Gary’s past to change him into the perfect man. 

Landing at No. 5 on the streaming movies chart was Universal Pictures’ Minions: The Rise of Gru, which began streaming on Peacock Sept. 23. The latest installment in the Illumination animated series tells the story of 12-year-old Gru’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain.

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers Sept. 23-25:

  1. Do Revenge — Netflix
  2. Thor: Love and Thunder — Disney+
  3. Lou — Netflix
  4. Meet Cute — Peacock
  5. Minions: The Rise of Gru — Peacock
  6. Jujutsu Kaisen O — Crunchyroll
  7. Jurassic World Dominion — Peacock
  8. Pinocchio — Disney+
  9. Elvis — HBO Max
  10. Morbius — Netflix

Nielsen: Prime Video’s ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Topped HBO Max’s ‘House of the Dragon’ in First Direct Viewer Competition

Amazon Prime Video’s original reboot “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” dominated household TV streaming, generating 1.25 billion minutes across two episodes for the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 4, according to new data from Nielsen.

Reportedly the most expensive television series ever created, “Rings” knocked off HBO Max’s original “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon,” with 781 minutes across three episodes. In fact, the access to all 73 episodes of “Thrones” was enough to best “Dragon,” finishing No. 4 with 792 million minutes streamed.

“Rings” was also able to fend off the premiere of Netflix original comedy movie Me Time, starring Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg, with 927 million minutes streamed.

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Rank SVOD Provider Program Name Number of Episodes Minutes Streamed (Millions)
1 Prime Video The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power 2 1.253 billion
2 Netflix Me Time 1 927
3 Netflix NCIS 354 812
4 HBO Max Game of Thrones 73 792
5 HBO Max House of The Dragon 3 781
6 Netflix Devil in Ohio 8 716
7 Netflix Cocomelon 18 693
8 Netflix Grey’s Anatomy 396 674
9 Netflix Stranger Things 34 667
10 Netflix Echoes (2022) 7 627

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

Alisa Bowen Upped to President of Disney+

Alisa Bowen has been promoted to president of Disney+, effective immediately. Bowen has led global business operations for Disney’s streaming platforms, including Disney+, since its launch in 2019.

Bowen will work closely with key leaders across The Walt Disney Company for the forthcoming launch of the advertising-supported subscription streaming tier, as well as multi-channel promotional support for Disney+ and its content slate.

The executive most recently served as EVP of global business operations for Disney Streaming, overseeing global content and business operations for the company’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, including Hulu, ESPN+ and Star+. This included cross-functional leadership of the global Disney+ rollout in 154 markets worldwide.

Regional leaders for Disney+ in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific, and Latin America will report jointly to Bowen and regional leadership. Bowen will continue to report to Michael Paull, president of direct to consumer of Disney Media Entertainment & Distribution.

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She joined Disney in 2017 as SVP of digital media and CTO of the company’s international operations, where she led a transformation of Disney’s channel broadcast technology, content operations, and digital publishing across EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

“Alisa has been an indispensable member of our leadership team since the inception of Disney+,” Paull said in a statement. “She possesses a rare and valuable combination of deep institutional knowledge, forward-thinking innovation, and global vision rooted in a strong focus on our consumer, that is perfectly suited for this critical role, and I am confident that she will have an immediate and positive impact on the business.”

Roku Inks Cross-Media Measurement Deal With Nielsen

Roku and Nielsen Sept. 29 announced a deal enabling for the first time four-screen measurement of content consumption across traditional TV, connected TV, desktop and mobile.

The pact affords marketers running ads with Roku to de-duplicate the campaign reach and frequency across all four screens in the home. This measurement, which begins in December, is available on the Roku platform, inclusive of any Roku media running through existing Nielsen measurement technology.

As consumers spend more time streaming, marketers are diversifying their media investments and continue to shift more dollars to TV streaming from linear. Streaming video consumption surpassed cable for the first time in July, capturing its largest share of TV viewing to date, according to Nielsen.

“Marketers can now better evaluate CTV inventory’s unique reach and frequency in conjunction with their entire Roku buy in a comparable and comprehensive manner, and advertisers can reduce waste and help ensure that relevant ads are delivered to the right audiences across devices,” Kim Gilberti, SVP of product management for Nielsen, said in a statement.

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The announcement builds upon a longstanding relationship between Roku and Nielsen that began with Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings measurement in 2016. Since then, more than 200 advertisers have measured their TV streaming campaigns on Roku.

“We believe that all TV ads will be accountable and measurable,” Asaf Davidov, head of ad measurement and research for Roku, said in a statement. “Our direct consumer relationship, our scale, and our tech all make us uniquely positioned to work with Nielsen to make measurement simpler and more accurate as marketers shift spend to TV streaming.”

Amazon Prime Video to Make All James Bond Movies Available on Oct. 5

Prime Video will make available all 25 James Bond movies to stream beginning on Oct. 5 — the day 60 years ago the first Bond movie, Dr. No, introduced Sean Connery as Agent 007 to moviegoers worldwide.

The limited-time streaming option, unveiled in a marketing trailer to Prime Video’s 1.6 million YouTube subscribers, celebrates the franchise’s history and underscores Amazon recent $8 billion purchase of Bond’s home studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The two-minute trailer melds every actor who has played Bond with iconic scenes, including the short-lived George Lazenby, who replaced Connery for one movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and incredibly turned down a subsequent multiple Bond movie deal worth millions of dollars to pursue other interests.

In addition to theatrical, Bond movies have been a mainstay in home entertainment over the years, including selling millions of physical and digital copies on Amazon.

Prime Video also released a trailer featuring the most iconic sounds of James Bond movies.

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Kino Cult AVOD Service Celebrates One-Year Anniversary With ‘Weird Cinema’ Double Features

The Kino Cult ad-supported streaming service is celebrating its first anniversary in October with 31 curated double-features aimed at reviving “the spirit of the midnight movie and providing a sampling of the unapologetically weird cinema that has become Kino Cult’s trademark,” parent company Kino Lorber said.

Each Thursday at midnight, Kino Cult will introduce a pair of new films to its collection, expanding its partnerships with genre film labels Severin Films, Synapse Films and Vinegar Syndrome. New titles include work by Dario Argento (Phenomena, Tenebrae), Curtis Harrington (The Killing Kind), a sampling of Filipino exploitation (The Thirsty Dead, Blood Thirst), and classic 1980s grindhouse titles (Don’t Go in the Woods, The Executioner Part II). The month-long event will climax on Halloween night with Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava’s iconic Italian horror saga Demons and Demons 2.

Tuesdays remain dedicated to “Tune In, Turn On,” Kino Cult’s weekly programming slot for mind-bending and psychedelic cinema.

Kino Cult is a free, ad-supported streaming service that is available as apps for Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google TV, iOS, Android, LG Smart TV, and via desktop and mobile at kinocult.com. It is also available as a 24/7 linear FAST (Free Ad-Supported TV) channel with carriage on Plex, DistroTV, Rad TV, TCL, and on the Kino Cult apps and website.

Sci-Fi Actioner ‘No Escape’ Due on DVD and Blu-ray in October in Unearthed Classics Line From MVD

Martin Campbell’s sci-fi actioner No Escape will be released on DVD Oct. 11 and on Blu-ray Disc Oct. 18 in the Unearthed Classics line from Unearthed and MVD Entertainment Group.

Released in 1994, No Escape is set in the futuristic world of 2022, when the prison system is run by corporations and prisoners are highly valuable assets. John Robbins (Ray Liotta) is a marine convicted for the murder of his commanding officer after being ordered to kill innocent civilians in Benghazi. After his conviction, Robbins is dropped on a prison island inhabited by two camps of convicts who are out to kill him. Robbins’ only hope for survival is escape.

No Escape co-stars Lance Henriksen, Kevin Dillon, Ernie Hudson and Michael Lerner.
 
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A video game of the same name was released for Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis in 1994, while Marvel released a three-part comic mini-series to help promote the film.
 
The discs feature new interviews with director Campbell, producer Gale Anne Hurd and co-writer Joel Gross. 

Erotic Classic ‘Quiet Days in Clichy’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD on Oct. 25

Blue Underground is planning to reissue the erotic classic Quiet Days in Clichy in a 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray combo pack as well as a DVD special edition on Oct. 25.

The discs will be distributed by MVD Entertainment Group.

The film, released in 1970, is an adaptation of Henry Miller’s semi-autobiographical novella by controversial Danish artist Jens Jørgen Thorsen.

The film captures the youthful spirit and liberated sexuality Miller experienced in his Bohemian days as an expat in Paris, portraying an American writer, Joey, and his French pal Carl sharing an apartment in the Parisian district of Clichy. While both men are broke and starving, it is no deterrent to their pursuit of desire for sexual adventures. 

Filmed in the French new-wave style of Godard and amplified by an original soundtrack by Woodstock favorite “Country Joe” McDonald, Quiet Days in Clichy was already a hit in Europe when it made its way to the United States, where it was quickly seized by authorities,who claimed it to be nothing more than obscene, pornographic filth. After protracted litigation against the government by its U.S. distributor, the film was eventually cleared, but mysteriously became lost.

Blue Underground has resurrected the film in a brand-new restoration, scanned in 4K 16-bit from its recently discovered uncut and uncensored original 35mm fine-grain negative. 

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO Shoots Down Company Sale Scuttlebutt

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav emphatically denied media rumors that his upstart media company is going to be put up for sale in the near future.

Speaking Sept. 28 on a virtual global town hall meeting to about 40,000 employees, Zaslav, who assumed leadership of the former TimeWarner following Discovery’s $43 billion operating control acquisition from AT&T, was reportedly asked by an employee about media reports suggesting WBD could be put on the sales block as early as 2024.

WBD, which includes Warner Bros., Turner, HBO, HBO Max and Discovery properties, has been going through internal restructuring as it attempts to cut operating costs, realize $3 billion in promised cost synergies and slash billions of dollars in debt accrued through the acquisition.

“We are not for sale,” Zaslav responded.

The town hall was the first company-wide meeting since April’s completion of the merger that retains AT&T as majority owner.

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Zaslav, who led the meeting from the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, Calif., reiterated recent comments made by CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels at investor events, namely that the company welcomed theatrical distribution for 15 to 20 new-release movies, and that WBD’s expansive linear television distribution via TNT, CNN, TBS, TruTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, HGTV, Magnolia Network, Boomerang and TCM reached more than 30 million people.

The executive said that household penetration contributed to the successful theatrical releases for Elvis and Don’t Worry Darling, in addition to the HBO/HBO Max release of original “Game of Thrones” prequel series “House of the Dragon.”

“We have everything we need to be successful,” Zaslav said.