‘Antebellum’ Tops Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

The premium VOD release Antebellum led both the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for the week ended Sept. 20.

Both are transactional video-on-demand services owned by Fandango.

From Lionsgate and QC Entertainment — the producer of Get Out and Us Antebellum stars Janelle Monáe in a thriller about a successful author who finds herself trapped on a 19th century slave plantation.

Another Lionsgate title, The Secret: Dare to Dream, which became available for digital sale Sept. 15 after a PVOD run, took the No. 2 spot on the Vudu chart and landed at No. 3 on the FandangoNow chart. The dramatic romance stars Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas and is based on the best-selling book The Secret.

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Meanwhile, Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third installment in the iconic comedy series starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, took the bronze on the Vudu chart and the silver on the FandangoNow chart after remaining at No. 1 on both for three consecutive weeks.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Sept. 20, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Antebellum
  2. The Secret: Dare to Dream
  3. Bill & Ted Face the Music
  4. Cats and Dogs 3: Paws Unite
  5. Alone
  6. The Tax Collector
  7. Trolls World Tour
  8. Beetlejuice
  9. The Owners
  10. The Silencing

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended Sept. 20, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Antebellum
  2. Bill & Ted Face the Music
  3. The Secret: Dare to Dream
  4. Alone
  5. The Tax Collector
  6. The King of Staten Island
  7. Fatima
  8. Blackbird
  9. Trolls World Tour
  10. The Grizzlies

Studios, Distributors, EMA Team Up on Massive Digital Movie Rental Promotion

A consortium of studios and key digital retailers, cable companies and satellite providers is sponsoring a digital rental movie sale May 31 through June 3 in which consumers can stream up to 250 different movies at prices as low as $2.99 for recent releases and 99 cents for older, catalog titles.

The “Ultimate Movie Weekend” initiative, led by the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), is believed to be the first time such a coordinated promotion has been undertaken in the United States.

The goal, according to EMA SVP Sean Bersell, is to “introduce consumers who haven’t rented digitally previously to the value and convenience of digital rental, and to entice consumers who haven’t rented digital recently to re-engage.”

The campaign will offer recent releases and catalog movies from Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. Participating digital retailers and cable and satellite companies include Altice USA’s Optimum and Suddenlink TV, Amazon Prime Video, the Apple TV app and iTunes, Atlantic Broadband, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox, DIRECTV, DISH, FandangoNOW, Frontier Communications, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, PlayStation Store, Redbox On Demand, U-Verse, and Vudu.

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The tagline for the Ultimate Movie Weekend is “Rent the Biggest Movies for Less.” Participating retailers will offer between 50 and 250 movies at discounted prices as low as $2.99 for recent releases and $0.99 for catalog movies. The Ultimate Movie Weekend sale includes some of the latest releases that are not yet available on subscription video services. Among the movies in the promotion are A Star Is Born (2018), Bumblebee, Fifty Shades of Grey, First Man, Forrest Gump, The Hunger Games, Robin Hood (2018), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Step Brothers, and Wonder Woman.

The promotional campaign will be supported by a significant media buy, social media marketing, direct-to-consumer outreach, and a dedicated website, www.ultimatemovieweekend.com. The Ultimate Movie Weekend sale is patterned after similar successful efforts last year in Australia, France and the U.K.

“While the popularity of digital movie rentals continues to grow, there is the opportunity to introduce even more consumers to the value and convenience of digital rental, so the industry has come together to offer a compelling promotion that we hope will attract new customers and remind infrequent digital renters of this option,” said EMA president and CEO Mark Fisher. “Plus, with the start of the summer, which is traditionally a heavy movie-viewing season, it’s a good time to remind consumers of the pleasure of getting together with family and friends for a movie night.”

According to industry statistics, in the first quarter of 2019, digital rental generated $564 million in consumer spending, which accounted for approximately 10% of all home entertainment consumer spending in the quarter.

“This is the first effort of its kind in the U.S., and the breadth of participants demonstrates that the home entertainment industry is making it a priority to communicate the value proposition of digital rentals to consumers,” said Richard Smith, SVP, domestic digital sales, for Paramount Pictures and chair of EMA’s Ultimate Movie Weekend planning committee. “We see significant potential to grow this sector of the industry, and in doing so grow the overall home entertainment market.”

“Our studio partners have assembled a fantastic slate of movies, many unavailable on subscription services, which FandangoNow will offer at compelling prices,” added Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment at Fandango and chair of the EMA. “Convenience and value have always been the hallmark of home entertainment, and these great movies at discounted prices draws attention to the ease and affordability of renting digitally.”