Netflix: ‘The Sandman’ Most Viewed Title, ‘Day Shift’ Clocks in at No.1 Movie

Fans didn’t sleep on “The Sandman” as the series stayed atop Netflix’s English-language TV List with 127.5 million hours viewed through Aug. 16, making it the most viewed title (movie or episodic show) this week. Based on the award-winning DC comics from Neil Gaiman, the dark fantasy series appeared in the Top 10 in 93 countries.

Season 3 of “Never Have I Ever” debuted at No. 2 with 55.01 million hours viewed and within the Top 10 in 81 countries. Fans couldn’t get over that final scene and are (not so) patiently awaiting Season 4. The Locke family returns for the third and final season. “Locke & Key,” an adaptation of the best-selling comic book series, had 38.44 million hours viewed. Coming in the fourth spot was perennial streaming favorite “Stranger Things 4″ with 35.31 million hours viewed. Season 4 of “Virgin River” continued to pull in viewers with 29.55 million hours viewed. In this never-been-told-before docu-series, I Just Killed My Dad had 26.19 million hours viewed. Limited series, “Keep Breathing” remained on the list with 20.92 million hours viewed. 

Movie viewers sunk their teeth into J.J. Perry’s directorial debut, Day Shift. Starring Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco, the vampire comedy was No. 1 on the English Films List with 56.51 million hours viewed and was on the Top 10 in 93 countries. Romantic drama “Purple Hearts” continued to give viewers all the feels as the film came in No. 2 with 46.37 million hours viewed.

The Gray Man continued to take viewers on a wild wide as the action-adventure had 21.16 million hours viewed. In its fourth week, the film also cracked the Top 5 on the Most Popular list landing in the No. 4 spot with 245.09 million hours viewed. Summer may be winding down, but things are heating up for Wedding Season. The rom-com had 19.01 million hours viewed in its second week on the list. The Sea Beast anchored into the sixth spot with 10.85 million hours viewed. 

In its second week, Korean action-adventure Carter remained in the No. 1 spot on the non-English-langue Films List with 26.67 million hours viewed and in the Top 10 in 92 countries. New entrants on the list included Spanish thriller Code Name: Emperor (9.71 million hours viewed), Argentinian documentary Bank Robbers: The Last Great Heist (6.61 million hours viewed) and Turkish romantic comedy Heartsong (2.5 million hours viewed). Viewers came back for Indian dark comedy Darlings (13.96 million hours viewed), Mexican comedy Don’t Blame Karma! (5.42 million hours viewed), German horror Blood Red Sky (3.54 million hours viewed), Argentinian thriller Recurrence (2.88 million hours viewed) and Indian action-adventure RRR (2.32 million hours viewed). 

After six weeks on the non-English-language TV List, “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” topped the list with an additional 69.36 million hours viewed. The South Korean drama also entered the Most Popular list at No. 8 with 288.62 million hours viewed. Turkish romantic drama “Another Self” (21.99 million hours viewed), K-drama “Alchemy of Souls” (17.84 million hours viewed), Seasons 1 & 2 of Brazilian drama “Good Morning Verônica” (9.42 million hours viewed and 12.63 million hours viewed, respectively) and Spanish romantic drama “Alba” (11.67 million hours viewed) all returned to the list. Meanwhile, a new Korean thriller, “A Model Family,” had 7.06 million hours viewed. 

Cinedigm Ups Q1 Streaming Footprint, Revenue and Loss

Cinedigm reported a first quarter (ended June 30) net loss of $6 million on revenue of $13.5 million. That compared to a net loss of $5 million and $15 million of revenue in the previous-year period.

The home entertainment/streaming video distributor said the reduction in Cinedigm’s legacy digital cinema equipment sales, in addition to a non-operating charge of $1.3 million for the company’s investment in A Metaverse Company, contributed to the increased fiscal loss and reduced revenue.

Total streaming revenue increased 98% to $8.1 million from $4 million, driven by an increase of 131% in ad-supported revenue and a 43% increase in subscription revenue over the prior year quarter. Content and entertainment revenue of $12.2 million grew by 38% from $8.8 million –driven by organic user growth, increasing market demand for Cinedigm’s connected television ad inventory, and the launch of new streaming channels versus the prior year.

“Our results and growth show that our strategy to scale our streaming business has paid off with substantial revenue growth and other key metrics,” Erick Opeka, chief strategy officer and president of Cinedigm Networks, said in a statement.

Opeka said he expects the trend to continue as the company invests further in ad-supported video and podcasts — initiatives made possible by the distributor’s Matchpoint technology platform — which he claims affords Cinedigm the ability to execute faster, at lower cost with higher margins, and with greater insight than its competitors.

“Matchpoint provides us a complete technology stack that fully meets the needs of a rapidly growing OTT business, providing us with an unparalleled competitive advantage that allows us to adeptly operate the largest FAST channel portfolio and streaming library in the business,” Opeka said.

Amazon Prime Video to Bow First Two Episodes of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Sept. 1-2

Amazon Prime Video Aug. 16 confirmed that the first two episodes of original series, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” will premiere on Sept. 1-2 (time zone dependent). The rest of the episodes will follow a weekly, single-episode rollout. The episodes will launch at the same time around the world. The finale of the eight-episode first season will air on Oct. 14.

The series aims to bring to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. The storyline is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels and Warner Bros. Pictures’ movie franchises The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

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Week One Episodes 1 & 2 Timings:
6 p.m. PDT // Thursday, Sept. 1
9 p.m. EDT // Thursday, Sept. 1
2 a.m. UK // Friday, Sept. 2
3 a.m. CEST // Friday, Sept. 2
5:30 a.m. IST // Friday, Sept. 2
10 a.m. JST // Friday, Sept. 2
11 a.m. AU // Friday, Sept. 2
1 p.m. NZ // Friday, Sept. 2

Week Two Timings Through to Season Finale:
9 p.m. PDT // Thursdays
12 a.m. EDT // Fridays
1 a.m. Brazil // Fridays
5 a.m. UK // Fridays
6 a.m. CEST // Fridays
9:30 a.m. IST // Fridays
1 p.m. JST // Fridays
2 p.m. AU // Fridays
4 p.m. NZ // Fridays

Roku Adds 14 New Linear TV Channels to The Roku Channel

Roku Aug. 16 announced the launch of 14 new linear channels on The Roku Channel and through the ad-supported platform’s Live TV Guide.

Viewers now have access to a variety of new genres and programming, including additional local news channels, Spanish-language entertainment, lifestyle, and true crime, among others.

In addition to the eight local news channels announced in June, The Roku Channel is adding channels for San Diego, Boston, and the Bay Area, as well as a national broadcast channel LX News, a news network by NBCUniversal Local for Adults 18-45.

The Roku Channel is also bringing on six Scripps channels for audiences to enjoy, with programming on Ion like “NCIS,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order,” “Hawaii Five-O,” among others.

“From local news channels to your favorite drama and crime series, to additional Spanish-language content, we are committed to providing it all for our viewers,” Ashley Hovey, head of The Roku Channel AVOD, said in a statement.

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The full channel list includes:

BBC Kids is a new channel featuring parent-approved children’s programming.

Bounce XL offers the best in Black television, including original programming and specials, scripted sitcoms, and dramas.

Cheaters features victims of suspected cheating hire hidden camera crews to spy on significant others and gather incriminating evidence.

Cine EstrellaTV is an all-new 24-hour movie channel celebrating Latin cinema for the on-the-go movie fan.

Court TV, the original true crime network, features live gavel-to-gavel, in-depth legal reporting of the nation’s most compelling trials. In addition, the network features specials and true crime series.

Grit Xtra is home to your favorite bold, brave and legendary action heroes. Showcasing classic all-American storytelling in its iconic Western movies and series.

Ion features a collection of television’s most-watched dramas and original programming.

Ion Mystery features investigative crime series, real-life docuseries, and exclusive originals.

Ion Plus is home to 24/7 entertainment featuring hit series and top dramas.

NBC Boston News features the latest local news, breaking updates, weather forecast and live events in the Boston area.

LX News features innovative storytelling examining the events shaping our world.

NBC San Diego News highlights local news, breaking updates, weather forecast and live events in the San Diego area.

NBC San Francisco Bay Area News features the latest local news, breaking updates, weather forecast and live events in the Bay Area.

Roku Channel Westerns features a line-up of classic and modern Western movies and popular Western series.

Launched in 2017, the ad-supported Roku Channel features free and premium entertainment. In Q4 2021, The Roku Channel reached U.S. households with an estimated 80 million people. The platform was a top five channel on the Roku platform in the U.S. by active account reach in Q3 and Q4 2021. Today, the platform features a diverse lineup of more than 80,000 free movies and programs and more than 300 free live linear television channels in the U.S.

Hub: Consumers Embrace Streaming Video Advertising

Consumer migration toward ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming television continues to flourish. New data from Hub Entertainment found that a 10% spike in second quarter (ended June 30) survey respondents using ad-supported streaming video platforms such as such Pluto TV, the free version of Peacock, the Roku Channel, Tubi, and Freevee, among others, since the end of 2021.

The May survey included responses from 3,004 U.S. consumers who watch at least one hour of TV per week.

The report found that 55% of respondents said they use at least one free, ad-supported TV streaming service. Another 42% subscribe to the ad-supported tier of a streaming on-demand subscription service such as Hulu, Discovery+, Paramount+, Peacock, or HBO Max. Subscription to those ad-supported tiers is up 4% since the end of 2021.

“It turns out the issue consumers had with ad-supported platforms was not the fact that they included ads at all, but how the ads were delivered,” Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Indeed, the report found that 56% of respondents said they’d rather watch ads and pay $4-$5 less per month for a streaming service. Preference for less expensive, ad-supported tiers over more expensive, ad-free tiers has remained relatively stable over the past year.

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Subscribers to the ad-supported tiers of streaming services are, for the most part, equally likely to feel they get “excellent” or “good” value from the service as those who subscribe to the ad free versions, according to Hub.

And subscribers to Discovery+ and Paramount+ with ads are actually 5% more likely than ad-free subscribers to feel those services offer excellent or good value.

 

The sentiment applies to FAST networks as well.

 

Of the respondents who said they were recent viewers of an ad-supported streaming platform, 69% said they enjoyed the entire experience of watching the show. For those who didn’t see relevant ads, viewing enjoyment was just 48%.

Similarly, streaming video enjoyment was 61% among those who remembered ads for products that seemed to be based on their past purchases. Among those not seeing ads like that, streaming enjoyment was lower 49%.

“With reasonable ad loads, more relevant targeting, and a quid-pro quo agreement (watch ads, pay less), the industry seems finally to have an answer to the question that has dogged it for years: how to get consumers to accept TV advertising,” Fondulas said.

Fox Nation Streaming Service to Release Original Films

Fox Nation, Fox News Media’s subscription streaming VOD service, is set to release its first original film, marking the platform’s first entry into in-house movie production.

The SVOD Sept. 1 will debut The Shell Collector, a feature film based on a bestselling title by author Nancy Naigle. The movie is the first of four original films slated for the SVOD platform, according to John Finley, EVP of development.

Nancy Naigle

“Since launching less than four years ago, Fox Nation has established itself as a go-to destination for lifestyle and entertainment programming,” Finley said in a statement. 

Produced in association with Cartel Pictures, The Shell Collector stars Caitlin Clark, Christopher Russell, and Jennifer Higgin in a story about a widow with two children who befriends interesting characters in her small seaside town as she looks to forge ahead with her new life following the death of her husband. 

With more than 30 titles in print, including “What Remains True,” “Recipe for Romance,” and “The Christmas Shop,” Naigle is a USA Today bestselling author who began her debut contemporary romance series, “Adams Grove,” while juggling a career in finance and life on 76-acre goat farm. Several of her holiday titles have been developed into movies for The Hallmark Channel, including The Secret Ingredient and Christmas Joy. “The Shell Collector” debuted on the Evangelical Christians Publishers Association Bestseller list at No. 20.

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Paramount’s ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Flying to Digital Retail Channels Aug. 23, Disc on Nov. 1

Top Gun: Maverick, the world’s No. 1 box office movie in 2022, is headed to retail channels, beginning with digital on Aug. 23 and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray on Nov. 1 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The Top Gun sequel, again starring Tom Cruise, has generated more than $1.3 billion in global box office receipts in 12 weeks of release and is the highest grossing film of the producer/actor’s acclaimed career. The movie was No. 2 at the North American weekend box office through Aug. 14.

In the 30 years since the 1986 original, Top Gun: Maverick finds Cruise’s character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot. Yet, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past when he returns to Top Gun to train a group of elite graduates and comes face-to-face with Lt. Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his former wingman, “Goose”. Bitter rivalries ignite as the pilots prepare for a specialized mission, which will require the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.

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The digital release takes viewers deep inside the making of the actioner with more than 110 minutes of bonus content. Features include the cast’s intense flight training program, behind-the-scenes videos of aerial sequences, and insights into the experimental aircraft specially designed for the movie.  Cruise shares his passion for aviation as he pilots his own aircraft, discusses his career at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, and takes TV host/comedian James Corden on the flight of his life in an extended video. Finally, the release includes two music videos from Lady Gaga and OneRepublic.

Specific digital release bonus material includes:

“Cleared For Take Off”—Witness the most intense film training program as the cast prepare themselves for filming while pulling multiple G’s in a fighter plane.

“Breaking New Ground – Filming Top Gun: Maverick”—Prepare to take flight as you go behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew of Top Gun: Maverick on a journey to capture the most spectacular aerial sequences ever!

“A Love Letter to Aviation” — Tom Cruise shares his passion for aviation as he pilots his own aircraft, a vintage World War II P-51 Mustang, which would have been the Top Gun aircraft of its day.

“Forging The Darkstar” — Pushing the limits beyond Mach-10, the future of aviation is unveiled through an impressive experimental aircraft specially designed for the movie.

“Masterclass with Tom Cruise – Cannes Film Festival” — Tom Cruise discusses his incredible career at the flagship event of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

“James Corden’s Top Gun Training with Tom Cruise” – Extended Version —When Top Gun: Maverick star Tom Cruise calls you up to hang out for the day, you say yes. And for James Corden, that meant having Tom pilot you in two different fighter planes, pushing the limits of gravity and James’s stomach. Check out this hilarious extended version!

 “Hold My Hand” – Lady Gaga Music Video” — Lady Gaga’s music video for her standout lead single hit on the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack.

 “I Ain’t Worried” – OneRepublic Music Video” — Music video to the original new song from OneRepublic.

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Teaser Trailer” – Watch the official teaser trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One starring Tom Cruise. Coming to theatres in 2023.

TOP GUN: MAVERICK 4K Ultra HD

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc boasts a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead, and Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR), which delivers greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors.  The film will also be available in a 4K Ultra HD SteelBook. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray includes access to a Digital copy of the film as well as “Cleared for Take Off,” “Breaking New Ground – Filming Top Gun: Maverick,” “A Love Letter to Aviation,” “Forging the Darkstar,” “Masterclass with Tom Cruise – Cannes Film Festival,” and the two music videos.

 TOP GUN: MAVERICK Blu-ray

The TOP GUN: MAVERICK Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with Dolby Atmos. The Blu-ray includes access to a Digital copy of the film as well as “Cleared for Take Off,” “Breaking New Ground – Filming Top Gun: Maverick,” “A Love Letter to Aviation,” “Forging the Darkstar,” and the two music videos.

TOP GUN: MAVERICK DVD

The DVD includes the feature film in standard definition.

Nielsen, Amazon Sign Agreement for National TV Measurement of NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ on Prime Video

Nielsen and Amazon Aug. 16 announced the signing of a three-year agreement to measure Prime Video’s exclusive NFL “Thursday Night Football” telecasts, a first-of-its-kind deal where a streaming service will be included in Nielsen’s National TV measurement service. Starting with the 2022 NFL season, measurement will include full coverage of the TNF broadcast – pregame, in-game and postgame programming – on Prime Video and Twitch, as well as the over-the-air stations in teams’ local markets each week, and out-of-home viewing.

This will be the first time a streaming service will have one of its live programs measured as part of Nielsen’s National TV measurement service. TNF will be measured and processed like all other NFL games, using Nielsen’s panel, allowing for the same metrics to be reported across all other national networks, continued trending, and comparability. According to Nielsen’s ratings, NFL games and shoulder programming such as pregame and postgame accounted for the Top 27 live telecasts in 2021, and 47 of the Top 50.

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Deirdre Thomas, managing director, U.S. audience measurement product sales at Nielsen, said the company’s long-time leadership tracking viewership across the household television is that gold-standard currency to the media industry.

“We are committed to delivering comparable, comprehensive measurement of all audiences, across all platforms, and this agreement to measure TNF viewership is a testament to that commitment,” Thomas said in a statement.

“Our collaboration with Nielsen will allow us to provide advertisers with familiar campaign measurement to make apples-to-apples comparisons across their multi-channel media investments,” added Srishti Gupta, director of media measurement, Amazon Ads.

Gupta said the Nielsen partnership will enable advertisers to have access to metrics from Amazon that could provide insights to understand brand awareness, engagement, and sales.

“This combination of first and third-party measurement is something only Amazon can provide,” he said.

Nielsen will begin measuring TNF on Amazon starting with its preseason game Aug. 25 featuring the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans. Amazon’s exclusive 15-game TNF regular season slate kicks off Sept. 15 when the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Arrowhead to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Twenty-nine of the NFL’s 32 clubs will appear on TNF this season, culminating Dec. 29 when the Tennessee Titans host the Dallas Cowboys.

Lionsgate Extends CEO Jon Feltheimer’s Contract Through Aug. 21, 2025

Lionsgate Aug. 15 disclosed it has extended the employment contract of CEO Jon Feltheimer through Aug. 21, 2025.

Feltheimer, who turns 71 on Sept. 2, has headed the Santa Monica-based studio/distributor since 2000. As part of the extended agreement, the executive receives $1.5 million in base salary with upwards of $7 million in performance-based stock compensation beginning with the 2023 fiscal year. Feltheimer’s previous employment contract ran through 2024.

Jon Feltheimer

Under Feltheimer’s leadership, Lionsgate in 2014 acquired the Starz multiplatform content distribution platform, which has now produced several branded subscription streaming video services domestically and abroad.

In addition to a strong home entertainment business, Lionsgate continues to generate television programs for third-party distributors, including 14 new series and 15 season renewals.

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JustWatch: Netflix’s ‘The Sandman,’ Hulu’s ‘Prey’ Repeat as Top Weekly Streamed TV Show, Movie

Hulu’s Prey, the fifth installment (and prequel) in the Predator sci-fi/action movie franchise, again topped all streaming movies for the week ended Aug. 14, according to new data from JustWatch, which tracks more than 20 million users’ monthly streaming choices across 54 countries. Netflix’s new original sci-fi series, “The Sandman,” was the most-streamed episodic content for the second consecutive week.

AMC+ original series “Better Call Saul” finished No. 2 as the “Breaking Bad” spin-off series reached its final episode, while Peacock/Paramount+ access to “Yellowstone” returned the popular Kevin Costner series to the podium. Warner Bros. Pictures’ biopic Elvis finished No. 2, while the death of Olivia Newton-John resulted in nostalgic streaming resurgence in the 1978 movie musical Grease, co-starring John Travolta.

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