‘The New Mutants’ Most-Watched Movie in Homes

The New Mutants, the 13th and final installment of the popular sci-fi “X-Men” series produced under Fox, topped the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended Nov. 21, spurred by its release from 20th Century Studios and Disney Media Distribution on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD, as well as through digital retailers.

The film was released theatrically in August despite many theaters still being closed. It earned a domestic box office gross of just over $23 million.

The New Mutants focuses on five young people with special powers who are forced to undergo treatment at a secret institution. But it’s soon clear that their containment is part of a much bigger battle between the forces of good and evil.

The Russell Crowe thriller Unhinged debuted at No. 2 on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Unhinged, distributed by Lionsgate, also was made available for home viewing on Nov. 17, arriving in a Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD, digital and on demand. Oscar-winner Crowe stars alongside Caren Pistorius, Jimmi Simpson and Gabriel Bateman in a psychological thriller about road rage. Rachel (Pistorius) is running late to work when she has an altercation at a traffic light with a stranger (Crowe) whose life has left him feeling powerless and invisible. Soon, Rachel finds herself, and everyone she loves, the target of a man who decides to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons.

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The two films knocked the prior week’s top title, the Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection, from Warner Bros., to No. 4.

Rounding out the top five: The romantic comedy After We Collided, from Open Road Films, at No. 3, down from No. 2 the previous week, and perennial holiday favorite Elf, from Warner Bros., at No. 5, up from No. 11.

Other holiday films on the “Watched at Home” chart included National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at No. 10, up from No. 19; Home Alone at No. 12, down from No. 6; and Polar Express at No. 17, up from No. 20.

Also new to the chart was the 2011 film Megan Is Missing (No. 6), from Lionsgate, which went viral on TikTok in the form of a challenge to see how long viewers could watch its graphic scenes; Recon (No. 7), a thriller set in the mountains of Italy at the close of World War II, from Brainstorm Media; and The Dark and the Wicked (No. 13), from Shudder, about two siblings who return to the family home to take care of their dying father, only to be plagued by waking nightmares that lead them to suspect something evil is taking over the family.

The complete series of “Friends,” consisting of all 10 seasons of the classic sitcom, reappeared on the “Watched at Home” chart at No. 15.

  1. The New Mutants (Disney/20th Century)
  2. Unhinged (Lionsgate)
  3. After We Collided (Open Road)
  4. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  5. Elf (Warner)
  6. Megan is Missing (Lionsgate)
  7. Recon (Brainstorm Media)
  8. Trump Card (D’Souza Media)
  9. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  10. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner)
  11. Antebellum (Lionsgate)
  12. Home Alone (20th Century)
  13. The Dark and the Wicked (Shudder)
  14. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  15. Friends: The Complete Series (Warner)
  16. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony Pictures)
  17. The Polar Express (Warner)
  18. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  19. Paw Patrol (Paramount/Nickelodeon)
  20. Trolls World Tour (Universal)


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 Nov. 21.


The New Mutants


20th Century;
Box Office $23.8 million;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violent content, some disturbing/bloody images, some strong language, thematic elements and suggestive material.
Stars Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga, Adam Beach.

Reflecting its comic book source material, The New Mutants offers a horror-infused take on the “X-Men” franchise and its penchant for finding people with bizarre superpowers.

As a spinoff of the “X-Men” comics, the “New Mutants” series focused more on younger mutants — the people born with genes that evolved to give them superpowers — who might one day be developed into full-fledged X-Men. The book’s style took on more surreal elements than the rest of the brand, though over the years it was the book that introduced characters such as Deadpool, Cable and Domino.

The New Mutants film moves away from “X-Men” style action and leans more into the realm of Stephen King thrillers and psychological horror. The story centers on a group of teenagers locked up in an asylum for evaluation of their powers, which manifest at the onset of puberty. But they seem to be under attack by an unseen force that takes that form of what terrified them as children. As discussed by director Josh Boone in the bonus materials, the film’s story draws particular inspiration from the “Demon Bear” storyline, in which one of the kids manifests her fears into a giant bear that attacks everyone.

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The film is taut in its execution and the cast is likable, but the film’s primary obstacle is its ‘PG-13’ rating, which doesn’t allow the filmmakers to take the story as extreme as it perhaps needs to go, resulting in the intended frightfest coming off as rather bland.

They also minimize any connection to the greater “X-Men” franchise, aside from a few generalized references. That it serves mostly as a standalone film is just as well, considering the film was delayed for so long its ownership in the interim transferred to Disney through its Fox studio purchase, making this the final “X-Men” film of the old regime, aside from more “Deadpool” movies that Disney-owned Marvel Studios might want to produce.

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The Blu-ray includes 11 minutes of deleted scenes that are pretty much more of the same of what the film delivers.

There are also two featurettes running just over seven minutes: “Origins & Influences,” about how the original comic book influenced the filmmakers, and “Meet the New Mutants,” a profile of the characters and the cast behind them.

Finally, the disc includes a commentary track in which Boone interviews Bill Sienkiewicz, the comic book artist who worked on the “New Mutants” story arcs being adapted. It’s an interesting conversation about the artistic pathways taken by each man, but it’s not synched in any way to the movie itself.

Disney Dropping ‘Fox’ From Content Branding

The Walt Disney Company will drop the “Fox” name from some of the assets it acquired in its $71.3 billion buyout of 21st Century Fox studio from the Murdoch family last March, according to reports.

As such, the 20th Century Fox film studio will now be known as 20th Century Studios, while the studio’s indie arm, Fox Searchlight Pictures, is now just Searchlight Pictures. Logos for the newly named subsidiaries have been similarly updated without the “Fox” name.

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The name change has apparently not yet extended to Disney-owned production units 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, though a potential name change could be coming on that front as well, according to Variety.

Also unknown is how the rebranding will affect the name of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Inquiries to the studio have not yet been answered.

The primary reason for the re-branding is to distinguish the new Disney-owned properties from assets such as the Fox broadcast network and Fox News Channel that were not included with the sale and are still controlled by the Murdoch family under the Fox Corp. banner.

Disney has already started phasing out “Fox” from company email addresses and is using the Fox-less branding for upcoming projects such as the films Downhill and Call of the Wild.

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Interestingly, the history of the 20th Century Fox studio began with the merger of two independent studios in 1935: Twentieth Century Pictures, founded in 1933, and Fox Film Corporation, founded in 1915. Rupert Murdoch bought 20th Century-Fox in the 1980s and dropped the hyphen from the name. Fox Searchlight was created in 1994.

Iconic 20th Century Fox studio elements such as the spotlight logo and the musical fanfare date back to the Twentieth Century Pictures days, and will be retained by Disney.