‘Christmas Vacation’ Visits No. 1 Spot on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart

The week of Christmas fittingly saw Warner’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation move into the No. 1 spot on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart the week ended Dec. 26. The 1989 comedy, the third in the raunchy “Vacation” series, had been No. 4 the previous week.

The previous week’s most-watched title, director Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, also distributed by Warner, dropped to No. 3 on the chart that tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, but not premium VOD or disc rental) compiled from studio and retailer data and presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

Warner’s Elf remained in the No. 2 spot.

Another holiday classic getting a bump from Christmas week was Warner’s A Christmas Story. The family comedy from 1983 rose to No. 4, up from No. 10 the previous week.

Completing a clean sweep for Warner in the top five was the eight-film “Harry Potter” collection.

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Among catalog titles new to the chart were 20th Century Studios’ Die Hard, the Christmas-set action classic starring Bruce Willis, at No. 14, and the Bill Murray comedy Scrooged, from Paramount, at No. 19.

The glut of holiday movies pushed season two of Paramount’s “Yellowstone” off the top 20 for the first time since June. The other two seasons remained on the chart, with season three at No. 10 and season one at No. 18.

  1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner)
  2. Elf (Warner)
  3. Tenet (Warner)
  4. A Christmas Story (Warner)
  5. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  6. Home Alone (20th Century)
  7. The Grinch (Universal)
  8. The Polar Express (Warner)
  9. Love Actually (Universal)
  10. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  11. Friends: The Complete Series (Warner)
  12. Game of Thrones: The Complete Series (Warner/HBO)
  13. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (20th Century)
  14. Die Hard (20th Century)
  15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Warner, 1966)
  16. The Office: The Complete Series (Universal)
  17. Unhinged (Lionsgate)
  18. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  19. Scrooged (Paramount)
  20. The New Mutants (Disney/20th Century)

 

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 Dec. 26.

‘Happiest Season’ Tops Holiday Movie Choices on Reelgood Heading Into December

Video streaming service aggregator Reelgood reported that Happiest Season was the top movie streamed by its 2 million users on Dec. 1, as the holiday season gets underway.

Aggregators such as Reelgood are platforms that scan multiple streaming services and make their programming searchable and playable from a single site. This allows Reelgood to track which services its users are watching. Reelgood is free to use but requires separate accounts from each of the SVOD services that can be accessed there.

Happiest Season, which debuted on Hulu Nov. 25, stars Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as a couple struggling to come out with Stewart’s character’s conservative family during Christmas.

The No. 2 title on Dec. 1 was perennial Christmas favorite Elf, the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell as a man who returns to civilization after being raised as one of Santa’s helpers.

No. 3 was another newcomer, Fatman, which stars Mel Gibson as an action-oriented Santa who has to defend himself against an assassin sent by an angry kid.

No. 8 on the list was Die Hard, which in addition to being an action classic is also an excellent Christmas movie.

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The top 10 holiday movies watched on Dec. 1, according to Reelgood:

  1. Happiest Season
  2. Elf
  3. Fatman
  4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  5. Love Actually
  6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  7. Home Alone
  8. Die Hard
  9. Scrooged
  10. The Christmas Chronicles

 

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Reelgood is available at Reelgood.com and via apps for iPhone, Android, LG Smart TVs, Android TV and Fire TV.

‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,’ ‘Elf’ Top Favorite Holiday Films in Redbox Customer Survey

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was the top classic and Elf the top post-2000 film in a Redbox customer survey on favorite holiday movies. The survey of 402 “engaged Redbox customers” took place Nov. 9-15.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a 1989 comedy film starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a man who loves Christmas but whose plans to give his family the best Christmas ever are repeatedly spoiled by everything from a trapped squirrel to a Scrooge-like boss. Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid and Juliette Lewis also star.

Elf, directed by Jon Favreau, is a 2003 comedy with Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who was adopted and raised by Santa’s elves. When he discovers he’s not a real elf he travels to New York City to meet up with his real dad, a curmudgeonly book publisher.

Survey results were:

What is your favorite classic holiday movie?

  1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  2. It’s A Wonderful Life
  3. A Christmas Story
  4. Home Alone
  5. A Charlie Brown Christmas

 

What’s your favorite tradition around the holidays?

  1. Watch holiday movies
  2. Put up holiday decorations
  3. Cook holiday meals
  4. Listen to holiday music
  5. Buy presents

 

Which is your favorite holiday movie made since 2000?

  1. Elf
  2. The Polar Express
  3. Seuss’ The Grinch
  4. Love Actually
  5. Bad Santa

 

Redbox is running a “Merry Movie Nights” promotion, featuring holiday hits at the Box, including Last Christmas, Christmas Under the Stars, Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Elf and The Nightmare Before Christmas; Christmas classics and family favorites On Demand, including The Polar Express, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and How the Grinch Stole Christmas; holiday romances On Demand, including The Holiday, Love Actually, Last Holiday, Serendipity, The Best Man Holiday and Just Friends; and “Not Really Christmas Movies,” including Die Hard, Edward Scissorhands, Gremlins, Why Him, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone and Trading Places.

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Redbox also has holiday movie channels, holiday music and a yule log fireplace channel coming out soon for Free Live TV.

‘1917’ Tops Disc Sales; ‘My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising’ Repeats as No. 1 Blu-ray

The relative lack of new impactful DVD and Blu-ray releases combined with stores transitioning into the holiday shopping season yielded a catalog free-for-all on the national disc sales charts the week ended Nov. 7.

The first week after Halloween saw most of the spooky favorites that dominated the charts the previous two months fade away, while a selection of Christmas favorites are beginning to surge again due to clearance promotions and not much in the way of new competition to keep catalog fare in general from taking over.

The week’s top title on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, was Universal Pictures’ 1917, the Award-winning World War I drama first released on disc in March. It had been No. 24 a week earlier. It marks the film’s second time in the top spot, which it previously occupied upon its debut 32 weeks ago just as the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns were beginning.

On the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart, however, 1917 was No. 3, rising eight spots from the previous week. The top Blu-ray for a second-consecutive week was Funimation’s anime movie My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, which was No. 3 on the overall disc chart. The film is one of the few recent releases on the chart, and its ability to rise above the fray on the Blu-ray battlefield is likely due to the fact that it was released only as a Blu-ray combo pack (with a DVD and digital copy).

Also making a huge jump during the week was Warner’s Joker, to No. 2 on both charts. The previous week it was No. 58 overall.

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The week’s top new release, at No. 4 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray Disc chart, was Liongate’s Antebellum, the horror film about a modern-day black woman who finds herself transported back in time to pre-Civil War slavery days where she must confront the racist attitudes of the time. Just 47% of its overall sales came from the Blu-ray Disc format, but 12% of its total was from the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version (translating to more than 25% of its Blu-ray sales).

Rounding out the top five overall disc sellers was Warner’s Birds of Prey, which jumped up from No. 95 a week earlier. It was No. 4 on the Blu-ray chart.

Lionsgate’s Knives Out was the No. 5 Blu-ray seller, No. 9 on the overall disc chart.

Among the Christmas favorites to return to the fold were Warner’s A Charlie Brown Christmas at No. 11 overall, DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls Holiday at No. 15, Universal’s 2018 animated movie The Grinch at No. 18 (up from 169 the week before), Warner’s Elf at No. 24, and Warner’s The Polar Express at No. 30.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Nov. 8, Antebellum debuted at No. 1, followed by Redbox’s An Imperfect Murder at No. 2.

The previous week’s top rental, Lionsgate’s Friendsgiving, dropped to No. 3, while not cracking the top 50 sales charts in either of its two weeks on shelves.

Rounding out the top five were Paramount’s The Vanished and Redbox’s Ava.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 11-7-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 11-8-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 11-7-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 11-7-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 11-7-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 11-9-20

‘A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish’ Due in October

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish digitally Oct. 15, and on Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 29.

The fifth installment in the “Cinderella Story” franchise stars Laura Marano of the Disney Channel series “Austin & Ally” as Kat, an aspiring singer-songwriter working as an elf at a local billionaire’s Christmas Tree lot, where she starts to fall for Nick (Gregg Sulkin), the lot’s new Santa. But her efforts to attend a prestigious winter gala with Nick are thwarted by her stepfamily. The cast also includes Isabella Gomez as Kat’s best friend, Barclay Hope as the billionaire, Johannah Newmarch as Kat’s stepmother, and Lillian Doucet-Roche and Chanelle Peloso as the stepsisters.

Extras include the featurettes “The Look and Costumes of A Christmas Wish” and “The Mic and The Stage.”

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The original A Cinderella Story in 2004 starred Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray and Regina King; Subsequent installments included Another Cinderella Story (2008), with Selena Gomez and Jane Lynch; A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song (2011), featuring Lucy Hale; and A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits (2016) with Sofia Carson.

‘A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish’ Begins Production

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Blue Ribbon Content have commenced principal photography on A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The fifth installment in the “Cinderella Story” franchise stars Laura Marano of the Disney Channel series “Austin & Ally” as Kat, an aspiring singer-songwriter working as an elf at a local billionaire’s Christmas Tree lot, where she starts to fall for Nick (Gregg Sulkin), the lot’s new Santa. But her efforts to attend a prestigious winter gala with Nick are thwarted by her stepfamily. The cast also includes Isabella Gomez as Kat’s best friend, Barclay Hope as the billionaire, Johannah Newmarch as Kat’s stepmother, and Lillian Doucet-Roche and Chanelle Peloso as the stepsisters.

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The original A Cinderella Story in 2004 starred Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray and Regina King; Subsequent installments included Another Cinderella Story (2008), with Selena Gomez and Jane Lynch; A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song (2011), featuring Lucy Hale; and A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits (2016) with Sofia Carson.

A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish is written and directed by Michelle Johnston, who also directed the fourth installment. She also choreographed the first four and served as a producer on the past three. Dylan Sellers returns as producer, a role he has served since the first film.

Fox Releases New ‘Die Hard’ Christmas Trailer

Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

While the debate over that question continues to rage online, 20th Century Fox is certainly marketing the heck out of the premise that it is.

Using a banner labeling the film “The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told,” Fox is touting its Die Hard Blu-ray re-releases with a new holiday-themed trailer for the film.

While the action film is set during Christmas and the holiday season is a key element of the film’s plot, its lack of a cheery family atmosphere and ‘R’ rating have left many viewers hesitant to rank it with the likes of It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Elf and A Christmas Story.

On the other hand, the film’s screenwriter, Steven E. de Souza, has said it should be considered a Christmas movie.

For his part, star Bruce Willis weighed in by saying it was a “Bruce Willis movie” during his recent Comedy Central roast.

Fox, in announcing the new trailer, also released a “Die Hard” Christmas poem:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, at Nakatomi Plaza,
The office party was festive, but soon interrupted by drama.
Hans Gruber and his men, had forced their way in,
And taken everyone hostage, trapping them within.
But how could they know, there was a cop up above,
John McClane had arrived, to win back his wife’s love.
He would take them all out, winning everyone’s praise,
Welcoming Christmas Day, with his favorite catchphrase.
YIPPEE KI YAY!

The trailer ends with the tagline “Christmas Movie? Yippee Ki Yes!”

Fox recently released a Die Hard: Christmas Edition Blu-ray for the film’s 30th anniversary that comes with Christmas sweater box art and four exclusive holiday cards.

In addition, all five “Die Hard” films are now available on 4K digital.

‘Scrooged’ Coming on Disc and Digital Nov. 19 From Paramount for 30th

The Bill Murray Christmas classic Scrooged will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital Nov. 19 for its 30th anniversary from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

In the humorous take on Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Murray stars as uncaring and unforgiving TV executive Frank Cross whose live production of A Christmas Carol is more important to him than any true meaning of Christmas. Before the night is over, he takes a journey through his past and into the future to find redemption.

The film also stars Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum and Alfre Woodard.

Pat Boone Christmas and Thanksgiving Specials Coming to DVD Nov. 6 From MPI

Pat Boone and Family: Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials will come out on DVD Nov. 6 from MPI Media Group.

Top-selling crooner Boone and his four singing daughters — Debby, Cherry, Lindy and Laurie — as well as his wife Shirley appear in these music and comedy specials that first aired on ABC in 1978 and 1979. The Christmas show includes classic holiday songs, appearances by the Hudson Brothers, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney, and stars from “Three’s Company,” “Happy Days” and “The Love Boat.” The Thanksgiving special features Bob Hope and the Hudson Brothers. Songs performed by the Boones include “Can’t Smile Without You,” “You Needed Me” and “Bless This House.”

Bonus material includes “The Pat Boone Family — Christmas in Bethlehem,” Christmas carols and a Boone family photo album.

Daddy’s Home 2

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 2/20/18;
Paramount;
Comedy;
Box Office $103.89 million;
$25.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for suggestive material and some language.
Stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Alessandra Ambrosio, John Cena, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson.

The first Daddy’s Home in 2015 proved to be a pleasant surprise, with the simple premise of a stepdad struggling to escape the shadow of the kids’ real father elevated comedically by the winning duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.

By the end of that movie, Ferrell’s Brad and Wahlberg’s Dusty had largely reached an understanding of how to raise the kids, with Dusty having to deal with a stepfamily of his own. The sequel begins by taking that premise to the next level, touching on the confusion inherent in such criss-crossed families, where situations get repeated so all the parents can get a taste of their children growing up, with results that don’t always satisfy everyone.

In light of these potential tensions, Brad and Dusty decide that all the families should celebrate Christmas together. As if on cue, Brad and Dusty’s own parents show up to join in the holiday fun (which is basically the same premise the recent Bad Moms sequel did). Mel Gibson plays Dusty’s dad, while John Lithgow is Brad’s.

The grandpas inject their own flavor, and soon enough the merged families are off to a cabin in a wooded community where hijinx are free to ensue.

Throwing the elders into the mix is a fine idea in terms of the pairings, and on paper adds an extra layer to the story. But in practice it kind of gets in the way. The film ends up pursuing too many ideas that don’t really coalesce around the central theme, more often than not falling back on the same kinds of physical slapstick that fueled the first film and have been the bread and butter of these kids of comedies since Buster Keaton first allowed a building to fall down around him.

Beyond that, the movie has to get by on the chemistry of its cast and whatever charm they can muster from their performances, and luckily there’s plenty of that to go around. The film is at its most fun when all the comedic actors play off each other, and the premise doesn’t require the big players to stray much from their wheelhouses here: aww-shucks Ferrell, hothead Wahlberg, macho Mel and lovable Lithgow.

It plays for a time, until John Cena shows up for what is basically an extended version of his cameo in the first film, where he represents the threat to Dusty’s fatherhood in the way Dusty was a threat to Brad. That conflict is touched on briefly but kind of makes you wish the movie was more about that from the beginning, rather than the “everybody raising the kids together with the grandpas stirring the pot” thing they went for.

The female side of the equation gets its share of attention too, with a fun little subplot about Brad’s wife (Linda Cardellini) and stepdaughter idolizing Dusty’s new wife (Alessandra Ambrosio) and stepdaughter in different but illuminating ways.

But really, it all might be worth it just for a great riff on Liam Neeson action movies and Hollywood’s penchant for seasonal mayhem.

The Blu-ray includes a half-hour of behind-the-scenes featurettes, grouped by various topics: writing the sequel, reuniting the cast, the pairing of Ferrell and Wahlberg, bringing on Gibson and Lithgow, and some other surprises.

There’s also 11 minutes of deleted, extended and alternate scenes, and a four-minute gag reel.