‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Again Lassos Top Spot on Watched at Home Chart

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 again took the top spot on the “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 17.

The DC-comic-based film starring Gal Gadot — repeating in the top spot for a third week — continued to get a boost from its arrival on Blu-ray and DVD March 30 after being released though digital retailers on March 16 (a release preceded by PVOD and a simultaneous Christmas Day 2020 debut in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max).

News of the World also repeated in the No. 2 spot, while Promising Young Woman rose to the third spot from No. 5 the previous week. The Croods: A New Age fell from No. 3 to No.4 and Monster Hunter dropped one spot to round out the top five.

The crime thriller City of Lies, starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker, entered the chart at No. 7 following an April 9 digital release. Other newcomers included USA Network’s and 20th Century Studios’ Queen of the South: Season 5 at No. 19 and the adult drama Monday at No. 20. Game of Thrones: The Complete Series returned to the chart at No. 18, and Paramount’s The Vault made a jump of five spots to take No. 14.

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The Watched at Home chart, compiled from studio and retailer data and presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, but not premium VOD or disc rental).

The Western News of the World (No. 2) stars Tom Hanks as a Civil War veteran who makes a living reading newspapers to people in frontier towns and is tasked with returning a young white girl who had been captured and raised by Indians to her family.

Promising Young Woman (No. 3), nominated for five Oscars, stars Carey Mulligan as Cassie, whose promising future was derailed by a mysterious event.

Universal Pictures’ DreamWorks Animation sequel The Croods: A New Age (No. 4) features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Peter Dinklage and follows the caveman Crood family as they encounter the more civilized Bettermans.

Sony Pictures’ video game adaptation Monster Hunter (No. 5) stars Milla Jovovich as the leader of a military unit battling deadly creatures from another world.

  1. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner)
  2. News of the World (Universal)
  3. Promising Young Woman (Universal)
  4. The Croods: A New Age (Universal)
  5. Monster Hunter (Sony Pictures)
  6. Greenland (Universal/STX)
  7. City of Lies (Lionsgate)
  8. Girl in the Basement (A+E)
  9. Willy’s Wonderland (Screen Media)
  10. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  11. Soul (Disney)
  12. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Lionsgate)
  13. Wrong Turn (2021, Lionsgate)
  14. The Vault (Paramount)
  15. Let Him Go (Universal)
  16. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  17. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  18. Game of Thrones: The Complete Series (Warner)
  19. Queen of the South: Season 5 (20th Century)
  20. Monday (IFC)

 

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 April 17.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Keeps Top Spot on Watched at Home Chart

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 held at No. 1 on the “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 10.

The DC-comic-based film, repeating in the top spot for a second week, continued to get a boost from its arrival on Blu-ray and DVD March 30 after being released though digital retailers on March 16 (a release preceded by PVOD and a simultaneous Christmas Day 2020 debut in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max).

News of the WorldThe Croods: A New Age and Monster Hunter all repeated in spots two through four, in order, from the previous week. The Oscar-nominated Promising Young Woman, which jumped from No. 6, rounded out the top five.

The comedy Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, co-starring and co-written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids), entered the chart at No. 10 after coming out on Blu-ray and DVD April 6. Also new to the chart for the week was Willy’s Wonderland, starring Nicolas Cage, dropping in at No. 11. Shadow in the Cloud, starring Chloë Grace Moretz as a World War II flight officer on a secret mission when her bomber is attacked by gremlins, returned at No. 18 after its April 6 DVD and Blu-ray release in an otherwise steady chart.

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The Watched at Home chart, compiled from studio and retailer data and presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, but not premium VOD or disc rental).

The Western News of the World (No. 2) stars Tom Hanks as a Civil War veteran who makes a living reading newspapers to people in frontier towns and is tasked with returning a young white girl who had been captured and raised by Indians to her family.

Universal Pictures’ DreamWorks Animation sequel The Croods: A New Age (No. 3) features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Peter Dinklage and follows the caveman Crood family as they encounter the more civilized Bettermans.

Sony Pictures’ video game adaptation Monster Hunter (No. 4) stars Milla Jovovich as the leader of a military unit battling deadly creatures from another world.

Promising Young Woman (No. 5), nominated for five Oscars, stars Carey Mulligan as Cassie, whose promising future was derailed by a mysterious event.

  1. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner)
  2. News of the World (Universal)
  3. The Croods: A New Age (Universal)
  4. Monster Hunter (Sony Pictures)
  5. Promising Young Woman (Universal)
  6. Girl in the Basement (A+E)
  7. Greenland (Universal/STX)
  8. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  9. Soul (Disney)
  10. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Lionsgate)
  11. Willy’s Wonderland (Screen Media)
  12. Wrong Turn: The Foundation (Lionsgate)
  13. Let Him Go (Universal)
  14. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  15. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Warner)
  16. The Ten Commandments (Paramount)
  17. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  18. Shadow in the Cloud (Vertical)
  19. The Vault (Lionsgate)
  20. Tenet (Warner)

 

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 April 10.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Lassos Top Spot on Watched at Home Chart

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 flew to the top spot on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 3.

The film, which leapt from No. 6 the previous week, got a boost from its arrival on Blu-ray and DVD March 30 after being released on digital March 16 (preceded by PVOD release and simultaneous release in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max).

News of the World, The Croods: A New Age, Monster Hunter and Soul all fell one spot, in order, from the previous week to round out the top five spots.

The Watched at Home chart, compiled from studio and retailer data and presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, but not premium VOD or disc rental).

The Western News of the World (No. 2) stars Tom Hanks as a Civil War veteran who makes a living reading newspapers to people in frontier towns and is tasked with returning a young white girl who had been captured and raised by Indians to her family.

Universal Pictures’ DreamWorks Animation sequel The Croods: A New Age (No. 3) features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Peter Dinklage and follows the caveman Crood family as they encounter the more civilized Bettermans.

Sony Pictures’ video game adaptation Monster Hunter (No. 4) stars Milla Jovovich as the leader of a military unit battling deadly creatures from another world.

Disney’s Soul (No. 5) is a Pixar Animation Studios film that as a result of the pandemic bypassed theaters and was released directly through the Disney+ streaming service Dec. 25. Soul was made available on disc and digital sellthrough March 23.

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Meanwhile, Paramount’s classic The Ten Commandments, director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic starring Charlton Heston, entered the chart at No. 10 following its 4K Ultra HD disc debut March 30.

The 2019 monster flick Godzilla: King of the Monsters also entered the chart at No. 12 for the week, drafting off the theatrical and HBO Max release of Godzilla vs. Kong.

  1. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner)
  2. News of the World (Universal)
  3. The Croods: A New Age (Universal)
  4. Monster Hunter (Sony)
  5. Soul (Disney)
  6. Promising Young Woman (Universal)
  7. Girl in the Basement (A+E)
  8. Greenland (Universal/STX)
  9. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  10. The Ten Commandments (Paramount)
  11. Wrong Turn: The Foundation (Lionsgate)
  12. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Warner)
  13. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  14. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  15. Tenet (Warner)
  16. Let Him Go (Universal)
  17. The Vault (Lionsgate)
  18. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  19. Fatale (Lionsgate)
  20. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Warner)

 

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 April 3.

‘Croods’ Sequel Leads ‘Watched at Home’ Chart for Third Straight Week

DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age again took the top spot on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart the week ended March 13, which saw all of the top nine releases stay in place.

The Watched at Home chart tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, but not premium VOD or disc rental).

A computer-animated sequel to 2013’s The CroodsA New Age, distributed by Universal Pictures, has topped the Watched at Home chart for three straight weeks and four out of five since it debuted on digital sellthrough Feb. 9. It arrived on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 23. The film features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Peter Dinklage, and follows the caveman Crood family as they encounter the more civilized Bettermans.

Repeating at No. 2 was Sony Pictures’ video game adaptation Monster Hunter starring Milla Jovovich. And repeating at No. 3 was STX Films’ Gerard Butler-starring disaster film Greenland, which was released on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 9 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Promising Young Woman, which just picked up five Oscar noms on top of its four Golden Globe nominations, moved up two spots to No. 10. The revenge thriller, which debuted on digital March 2, is distributed by Universal. It stars Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan as a former medical student who was headed for success until a mysterious event abruptly derailed her future. It hit Blu-ray Disc and DVD March 16, just after the chart’s reporting period.

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The week’s top newcomer was Universal’s Tom Hanks Western News of the World, about a former Army captain in the 1870s who moves from town to town sharing the news and agrees to help reunite a girl kidnapped by the Kiowa with her family. It picked up Oscar noms for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Production Design and Best Sound, but not one for Hanks in the lead role. It ranked No. 11 on the Watched at Home chart in its digital sellthrough debut.

The other newcomers were thrillers Crisis (No. 17) and Death Saved My Life (No. 18,) as well as the 2012 Christopher Nolan DC superhero film The Dark Knight Rises, which landed at No. 19.

  1.  The Croods: A New Age (Universal)
  2.  Monster Hunter (Sony Pictures)
  3. Greenland (Universal/STX)
  4. Girl in the Basement (A+E)
  5. Wrong Turn (2021) (Lionsgate)
  6. Fatale (Lionsgate)
  7. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  8. Tenet (Warner)
  9. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  10. Promising Young Woman (Universal)
  11. News of the World (Universal)
  12. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  13. Freaky (Universal)
  14. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  15. Let Him Go (Universal)
  16. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Warner)
  17. Crisis (Quiver Distribution)
  18. Death Saved My Life (A+E)
  19. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner)
  20. Silk Road (Lionsgate)

 

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 March 13.

DEG Forms New Committees, Defines Terms for Direct-to-Consumer Market

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s D2C Alliance Steering Committee Feb. 25 released a list of industry terminology endorsed by its members to help standardize communication about the various digital streaming models and services and to align the messaging regarding their features and benefits.

The Alliance-adopted terminology spans linear, transactional and subscription businesses:

  • AVOD: Ad-Supported Video-on-Demand services are usually free (no subscription fee) or discounted with the inclusion of advertising.
  • DTC: Direct-to-Consumer services deliver single- or multi-channel content to consumers directly from a network or provider.
  • DTO: Download-to-Own digital content is purchased or licensed from platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes (similar to EST).
  • EST: Electronic Sell-Through enables standard or premium digital content to be streamed or downloaded by consumers for a fixed one-time fee over an extended period of time across multiple delivery points and devices.
  • FAST: Free Ad-Supported Television linear channels are delivered over the internet and available from third party platforms (e.g., Pluto, Tubi).
  • Linear TV: Linear TV refers to live or prerecorded television programs that are distributed in real time, rather than on-demand, by cable (e.g., Comcast), satellite (e.g., DirecTV), telco (e.g., Verizon Fios) or broadcast OTA (over-the-air) networks, as well as internet-delivered digital program distributors (e.g., Hulu + Live TV, YouTubeTV, SlingTV).
  • MVPD: Multichannel Video Program Distributors offer a variety of different linear content channels from multiple providers over cable, satellite or telco services (e.g., Comcast, DISH, DirecTV, Verizon Fios) on a subscription basis. Virtual MVPDS (vMVPDs) offer channels through internet-delivered services (e.g., Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV).
  • O&O: An abbreviated way to reference a broadcast station that is “owned-and-operated” by the network or company that it’s affiliated with. NBC 4 Los Angeles, for example, is owned and operated by NBCUniversal.
  • OTT: Over-the-Top services bypass traditional cable, broadcast and satellite TV platforms and use the internet to deliver or “stream” video directly to viewers. Netflix, Apple TV, and YouTube are all examples of OTT services.
  • PEST: Premium Electronic Sell-Through for a one-time fee offers a specific piece of digital content to be purchased or licensed earlier than its traditional release “window.”
  • PVOD: Premium Video-on-Demand services permit limited-time access, for a one-time fee, to a specific piece of content earlier than its traditional release “window.”
  • SVOD: Subscription Video-on-Demand services require a periodic fixed fee (most often monthly) for accessing and viewing content an unlimited number of times while a subscriber (e.g., Disney+, Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock).
  • TVOD: Transactional Video-on-Demand services charge a one-time fee for viewing a specific piece of content for either a limited rental period (typically 24 or 48 hours), or an extended collection period (EST).

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The DEG’s D2C Alliance is focused on identifying the issues pertaining to both SVOD and AVOD services, including (but not limited to) definitions and standards; uniform messaging; activation and adoption; research and data analytics; consumer consumption patterns; improved quality of service; and generating greater overall awareness about the direct-to-consumer experience.

To this end, the Alliance also recently activated two new committees: TV & Connected Devices and DTC Targeted Services.

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The members of the TV & Connected Devices committee include Amazon, Google, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony Electronics, TiVo, Verizon and Xfinity. The TV & Connected Devices committee seeks open communication with platforms and services as a way to improve the overall consumer streaming experience.

The DTC Targeted Services committee is comprised of specialized content companies, such as A+E Networks, AMC Networks, BBC Studios, FilmRise, National Geographic, The Great Courses, PBS Distribution and ScreenHits TV. The goal of the DTC Targeted Services committee is to ensure that the perspective of specialized services is represented in the key industry issues outlined above.

DEG’s D2C Alliance is guided by a group of Steering Committee executives, including Matt Strauss, chairman direct-to-consumer and international at NBCUniversal, as chair; Ron Lamprecht, director corporate business development at Amazon Prime, as vice chair; and Jonathan Zepp, M&E global partnerships, Google Platforms & Ecosystems, and Dan Cohen, president, ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, as board officers. The officers were elected by the full D2C Alliance Steering Committee.

“Establishing accepted industry terminology is an important early step in both industry relations and consumer outreach,” said Amy Jo Smith, DEG president and CEO, in a statement. “This is an important milestone for the D2C Alliance as it moves forward with a strong base of support across platforms and services, device makers and content owners and distributors.”

Also Feb. 25, the DEG is presenting “The Maturing D2C Landscape,” an event to provide more insights about the emerging DTC ecosystem. The virtual event features experts from across the industry speaking about the targeted services landscape and the role connected devices play in consumer experience.

DEG Expo on Feb. 25 to Focus on ‘Maturing D2C Landscape’

Josh Reader, president of Distribution and Development at AMC Networks, will be a featured speaker for DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s next DEG Expo, set for Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m. PT. Reader will chat with Looper Insights CEO Lucas Bertrand about marketplace dynamics for targeted direct-to-consumer services in 2021 and beyond.

The topic of the Feb. 25 DEG Expo is “The Maturing D2C Landscape,” with a particular focus on the targeted services landscape and the role connected devices play in the consumer experience. The program was developed with DEG’s D2C Alliance Council working group, which represents the global direct-to-consumer entertainment industry and supports its members to help create a robust marketplace to lead the new era of content consumption.

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In addition to the Reader-Bertrand chat, the Feb. 25 DEG Expo also will present a panel discussion on the connected device experience, with Susan Agliata, director of Business Development, OTT Partnerships at Samsung; Ben Maughan, VP of New Ventures and Strategic Business Development for TiVo (Xperi); and John Buffone, executive director and industry analyst, Connected Intelligence, with The NPD Group. Other speakers include Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and National TMT Leader, Deloitte, who will present research on subscription churn; Andrea Downing, co-president, PBS Distribution; and DEG president and CEO Amy Jo Smith.

DEG launched the DEG Expo series last year to provide its members and the industry with education and community building opportunities through curated virtual events offering diverse perspectives on topics relevant to the digital media industry.

To learn more about joining the D2C Alliance or how to participate in this week’s D2C Expo, please contact Shannon Gregory at Shannon@degonline.orgRegister for the DEG Expo: The Maturing D2C Landscape here. See the full agenda here.

‘American Skin’ Again the Most-Watched Movie in Homes Last Week

With a scarcity of new releases, there were few changes to the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended Feb. 6.

The Vertical Entertainment drama American Skin, about a Marine veteran who seeks justice when his son is killed by a police officer, finished in first place for the third consecutive week on the chart, which 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.

Universal’s Let Him Go shot up to No. 2 from No. 14 the prior week, fueled by its Feb. 2 release on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. Based on the novel of the same name by Larry Watson, the film stars Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as a husband and wife who, following the death of their son, leave their Montana ranch to trek through North Dakota to rescue their young grandson from the clutches of a ruthless family. The film earned $9.4 million in U.S. theaters and was released for digital sellthrough on Jan. 19.

Let Him Go displaced Warner Bros.’ Tenet from the No. 2 slot. The Christopher Nolan actioner slipped to No. 6.

Greenland, another STX Films release, switched spots with Universal’s Honest Thief to land at No. 3, with the latter slipping a spot to No. 4.

Once again rounding out the top 5 was Universal’s The War With Grandpa.

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Groundhog Day, the 1993 Bill Murray comedy about a man caught in a time loop who has to relive Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, over and over again, was the highest-charting new entry. The Sony Pictures release debuted at No. 7.

There is only one other new entry on the “Watched at Home” chart, Bleeker Street’s Wild Mountain Thyme, which bowed at No. 20. The film was released on DVD and through digital retailers Feb. 2 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Wild Mountain Thyme, directed by John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck), follows headstrong farmer Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt), who has her heart set on winning her neighbor Anthony Reilly’s love. The problem is Anthony (Jamie Dornan) seems to have inherited a family curse and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer. Stung by his father Tony Reilly’s (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony is jolted into pursuing his dreams in this comedic romantic tale.

  1. American Skin (Vertical Entertainment)
  2. Let Him Go (Universal)
  3. Greenland (STX)
  4. Honest Thief (Universal)
  5. The War with Grandpa (Universal)
  6. Tenet (Warner)
  7. Groundhog Day (Sony)
  8. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  9. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  10. Songbird (STX)
  11. Synchronic (Well Go)
  12. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  13. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  14. The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount)
  15. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Warner)
  16. Come Play (Universal)
  17. The Office: Complete Series (Universal)
  18. The Big Short (Paramount)
  19. 100% Wolf (Viva Pictures Distribution)
  20. Wild Mountain Thyme (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 Feb. 6.

‘American Skin’ Takes Top Spot on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart

The Vertical Entertainment drama American Skin, about a Marine veteran who seeks justice when his son is killed by a police officer, jumped to No. 1 from No. 10 on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended Jan. 23, toppling Warner Bros.’ Tenet from the top spot it had occupied for the last three weeks.

American Skin had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September 2019. Vertical Entertainment acquired the film last December and gave it a multi-platform release on Jan. 15. Lionsgate will release the film on DVD on March 9.

Tenet slipped to No. 2 on the “Watched at Home” chart, which 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.

Universal Pictures’ Honest Thief and The War With Grandpa each backtracked a spot as well, finishing at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

Season 3 of Paramount’s “Yellowstone” again rounded out the top five.

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Three new releases and one catalog title debuted on the “Watched at Home” chart.

The IFC Films documentary MLK/FBI was the top debut, landing at No. 10, followed by Let Him Go, a Universal Pictures crime drama starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, at No. 11.

The STX thriller Horizon Line bowed at No. 15, while Paramount’s The Wolf of Wall Street checked in at No. 19.

MLK/FBI is a documentary by Sam Pollard that follows late Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. as he is probed and hassled by the FBI and its notorious director, J. Edgar Hoover. The film had its world premiere at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival and was given a multi-platform release by IFC Films on Jan. 15.

Let Him Go, based on the novel of the same name by Larry Watson, stars Coster and Lane as a husband and wife who, following the death of their son, leave their Montana ranch to trek through North Dakota to rescue their young grandson from the clutches of a ruthless family. The film earned $9.4 million in U.S. theaters and was released for digital sellthrough on Jan. 19. It will make its Blu-ray Disc and DVD debut on Feb. 2.

Horizon Line is a Swedish adventure thriller released on VOD on Jan. 12. The film follows a couple on a small plane that crash lands on an island that is actually a sandbar, with the two struggling to stay alive before the tide rises.

  1. American Skin (Vertical)
  2. Tenet (Warner)
  3. Honest Thief (Universal)
  4. The War with Grandpa (Universal)
  5. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  6. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  7. Love and Monsters (Paramount)
  8. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  9. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  10. MLK/FMI (IFC Films)
  11. Let Him Go (Universal)
  12. The Office: The Complete Series (Universal)
  13. The Informer (Vertical)
  14. Spell (Paramount)
  15. Horizon Line (STX)
  16. The Craft: Legacy (Sony Pictures)
  17. Unhinged (Lionsgate)
  18. 100% Wolf (Viva)
  19. The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount)
  20. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Warner)

 

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 Jan. 23.

DEG Panelists: PVOD Here to Stay

After an accelerated push during the pandemic in 2020, premium VOD is a permanent addition to the home entertainment marketplace, said panelists during a Jan. 27 DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group online presentation.

“We think that PVOD is here to stay, and it really is a big part of our business,” said Fandango SVP Mark Young. Fandango owns transactional VOD services Vudu and FandangoNow.

Microsoft’s Pedro Gutierrez noted that PVOD, debuting in the same window or close to theatrical release, allows for more effective studio marketing. Whereas traditionally a film’s home entertainment marketing would come months after its theatrical push, PVOD has allowed studios to move it up so the title is “fresh in consumers’ minds,” he said.

“You’re able to see the studios able to support the home entertainment releases stronger than previously,” he said, adding “you have that nice consistent message for the title availability.”

For parents like him, family titles are a particular draw during stay-at-home orders, even with a bigger price tag, he said.

“When there is new content that can buy an hour and a half or two hours of silence, we are jumping at the opportunity,” he said.

Aside from first-run films on PVOD, catalog is also getting a boost as folks stay home, Young said, noting that the classic series “The Twilight Zone” has been a strong seller.

“It’s good fodder for cathartic viewing,” he said.

Fandango has also employed TVOD bundling of titles to entice customers.

“We work with the studios’ licensing groups … whether it’s by genre, by actor, by type of movie, whether it’s by demographic,” he said. “We look at our data to be able to bundle things that are interesting for consumers … in some cases across studios.”

Gutierrez agreed that unique marketing is key for TVOD.

“At the end of the day, we all have the same piece of film content, whether it’s from Warner, from Universal, from whichever partner,” he said. “How do we make it unique? We spend a lot of time targeting our customers in a manner that’s appropriate for them [with a title that] shows their interest based on prior search or selections — or we even do a lot of game and movie bundles for our gaming audience on Xbox.”

He said collectors are alive and well in the digital realm, just as with discs.

“We’ve all seen the people who have their wall of DVDs,” he said. “With the digital stuff, people want to show you their library’s bigger than Netflix. They want to buy. [The digital collector] does not want to have to worry about do I need to go to HBO Max, do I need to go to Disney+. Where is my content? My content is right here in my collection.”

“We also see on Vudu in particular a lot of collectors, rabid collectors,” added Fandango’s Young.

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FilmRise’s Fisher touted the growth and appeal of his expanding part of the digital business: free, ad-supported streaming or AVOD.

“In the AVOD space, one does not need a credit card, does not need to log in. All they need is an internet device,” he said. “Not all families in the U.S., let alone around the world, can afford 10 subscriptions. Some can’t even afford one subscription.”

FilmRise has found success with catalog as well, including the recently acquired classic show “The Rifleman.”

“It’s a black-and-white TV show, four by three aspect ratio, over six decades old,” he said. “We identified that the consumer demand was really strong.”

FilmRise uses data algorithms and “proprietary analytics” to find such underutilized content, adding AI machine learning in 2020.

“We don’t care what the industry thinks people want to see, we care what people want to see,” he said, adding that such older shows as “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “21 Jump Street,” and “Lost in Space” are doing well on AVOD. “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Forensic Files,” which attract strong demand for FilmRise, have even been rebooted, he noted.

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Paramount’s Bob Buchi Hails Transactional Growth, Says ‘No Turning Back’ Digital Shift in 2020

As a result of the pandemic, transactional spending grew in 2020 for the first time in years and “there’s no turning back” from the digital shift, said Bob Buchi, president of worldwide home entertainment for Paramount Pictures.

Speaking Jan. 27 during an online presentation for DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, he said, “from our estimates, if you include PVOD … 2020 was the first year that we’ve seen growth in the transactional home entertainment business in well over a decade, and that’s despite the significant lack of new releases due to theatrical closures.”

In addition to PVOD (premium VOD), which features higher-priced rentals and sales of new releases, transactional includes physical disc and digital sales and rentals.

Growth of subscription streaming and digital rental and ownership were both “magnified in 2020,” Buchi said.

“The effects of the pandemic have accelerated the shifts in the entertainment industry that we’ve been seeing and talking about for quite some time, and while it’s going to continue to evolve, we think there’s no turning back,” he said.

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With new releases on hold due to shuttered theaters and production slowdowns, catalog titles took on new importance, he noted. Paramount last year launched its “Paramount Presents” line of library releases on Blu-ray.

“Special thanks go out to the enduring power of catalog,” Buchi said, joking about speaking from a pink room and quoting a line from Paramount’s 2004 comedy Mean Girls: “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”

The color pink is shown to have a “calming effect,” he noted.

“This year’s been anything but calm and relaxing for us in the home entertainment business,” he said.