‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Tops ‘Watched at Home’ Chart for Third Week

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment in Disney’s “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, was No. 1 for the third consecutive week on the “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 18.

The film’s run at the top of the weekly chart, which tracks transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, has been extended by the lack of any high-profile theatrical releases coming into the home video pipeline, due to the closure of movie theaters more than a month ago as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s stay-at-home orders.

The Rise of Skywalker vaunted into the top spot on the chart — which measures disc sales, digital purchase (electronic sellthrough, or EST) and digital rental — three weeks ago in the wake of its release on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD.

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Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys for Life shot up to No. 2 from No. 4 on the “Watched at Home” chart, its popularity perhaps fanned by marketing in support of the film’s April 21 debut on disc. The third “Bad Boys” film was released digitally on March 31 due to the pandemic but had already grossed more than $200 million in North American theaters, making it the top box office earner in the franchise.

Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog slipped to No. 3  on the “Watched at Home” chart after two weeks in the second spot. The film, based on the iconic video game character, was another early digital release (March 31) and is scheduled to come out on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on May 21.

Universal Pictures’ Dolittle, a fantasy comedy adventure film about a veterinarian (played by Robert Downey Jr.) who can communicate with animals, slipped to No. 4 from No. 3, while Sony Pictures’  Jumanji: The Next Level remained at No. 5 for the second week.

Fox’s Underwater and Warner’s Just Mercy both debuted in the top 20 for the first time after they were released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

Underwater, which bowed at No. 13 on the “Watched at Home” chart, is a science-fiction horror film, starring Kristen Stewart, that grossed just over $40 million at the domestic box office.

Just Mercy, which entered the chart at No. 15, is a legal drama starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx with a $50 million North American theatrical take.

Stay-at-home orders also appear to be making people rediscover older movies, as evidenced by the “Watched at Home” chart debut, at No. 20, of Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection, from Warner. The boxed set also is No. 1 on Amazon’s “Kids & Family” best sellers.

  1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  2. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  4. Dolittle (Universal)
  5. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  6. The Call of the Wild (Disney, 2020)
  7. The Gentlemen (STX/Universal, 2019)
  8. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  9. 1917 (Universal)
  10. Little Women (Sony, 2019)
  11. Bloodshot (Sony, 2020)
  12. The Way Back (Warner)
  13. Underwater (Fox)
  14. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  15. Just Mercy (Warner)
  16. Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
  17. Spies in Disguise (Fox)
  18. Onward (Disney)
  19. Frozen II (Disney)
  20. Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection (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 18

‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ the Most-Watched Transactional Home Release

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, was the most-watched home release the week ended April 4 outside the streaming universe, according to a new weekly tally of transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

The new “Watched at Home” chart measures disc sales, digital purchase (electronic sellthrough, or EST) and digital rental.

The Rise of Skywalker was released digitally March 17 and on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD two weeks later, on March 31, by Disney and LucasFilm. The disc release gave the title a boost. On the previous week’s chart for the week ended March 28, before its availability on disc, The Rise of Skywalker was No. 6.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Rise of Skywalker earned more than $515 million at the domestic box office and just over $1 billion worldwide.

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Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog debuted at No. 2 on the “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 4, solely on the strength of its digital sales. The film, which earned $306.8 million at the global box office, was made available for purchase through digital retailers on March 31, just 46 days after its theatrical opening. The early release was  prompted by a mass shuttering of movie theaters due to efforts to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic; the normal theatrical-to-home window is about three months. Sonic becomes available on disc and for digital rental on May 19.

The third spot on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart went to another early digital release, Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys for Life. The third “Bad Boys” movie, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, grossed $204.4 million in North American theaters and $419 million globally. The film was made available for home viewing on March 31 and will be issued on disc on April 21.

Another Sony Pictures release, Jumanji: The Next Level, finished the week at No. 4, down two spots from the prior week. The fantasy adventure film, which generated $796.6 million in worldwide movie-ticket sales  to become the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2019, was released through digital retailers on March 3 and on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD on March 17.

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Rounding out the top five was Universal Pictures’ 1917, the acclaimed World War I movie that was released digitally March 10 and on disc March 24. The previous week 1917 was ranked at No. 3.

The week ended March 28’s most-watched film, Disney’s Onward, slipped to No. 6 the week ended April 4. The latest Pixar animated movie was made available for digital purchase on March 20 and premiered on the subscription streaming service Disney+ on April 3.

  1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  3. Bad Boys for Life (Sony Pictures)
  4. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony Pictures)
  5. 1917 (Universal)
  6. Onward (Disney)
  7. Bloodshot (Sony Pictures)
  8. The Call of the Wild (Disney)
  9. Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Disney)
  10. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  11. Dolittle (Universal)
  12. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  13. The Gentlemen (Universal/STX)
  14. Spies in Disguise (Fox)
  15. Frozen II (Disney)
  16. Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
  17. Contagion (Warner)
  18. The Way Back (Warner)
  19. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony Pictures)
  20. Just Mercy (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 4

Complete Series of ‘Modern Family’ Available on Digital, Season 11 on DVD June 9

The complete series of “Modern Family” is available on digital, with season 11 due on DVD June 9.

The series, which just completed its run on ABC, follows the diverse, complex, and sometimes nutty Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan. The family is headed by Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill), who is now married to his second wife, the young, gorgeous Gloria (Sofia Vergara), assumed by some to be his daughter. In their care is Gloria’s daydreaming son Manny (Rico Rodriguez). Jay’s driven daughter Claire (Julie Bowen) and her real estate agent husband Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) want an open, healthy relationship with their three kids, which isn’t always easy. Their oldest daughter Haley (Sarah Hyland) grows up a little too fast. She moves out, and then moves back in again with her fiancé and their twin babies. Middle child Alex (Ariel Winter) is a too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, and the youngest, Luke (Nolan Gould), is a rambunctious son. Where Phil wants to be the “cool dad,” Claire is determined to keep her kids from walking in the wayward footsteps of her younger days. Jay’s very serious son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his gregarious husband Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) become doting parents to Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons), the Vietnamese girl they adopt.

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In season 11, as Haley and Dylan and the twins move in with Phil and Claire, Manny heads for college, Alex tries out life beyond academics, and Luke seeks his next move. Mitch and Cam try to understand their gifted teen, and Jay and Gloria navigate their now seasoned marriage as the large family lives, loves and laughs in the acclaimed series’ final season.

Comscore: VOD Consumption in March Grew Nearly 30%

New data from Comscore shows a significant increase in VOD consumption in March as millions of Americans complied with pandemic stay-at-home orders.

Looking at all set-top box-based VOD (including free on demand, SVOD, TVOD and EST), the month of March saw a nearly 30% increase in average transactions per household that subscribes to VOD year-over-year — with the average subscribing household accessing, purchasing or renting 16 titles of VOD content over the course of the month. That’s nearly four more transactions per VOD subscribing household than in March 2019, according to Comscore.

Of the VOD subcategories, SVOD had the highest growth, with a 53% increase in average transactions per subscribing household March 2019 versus March 2020. Free on demand was next with a 21% increase for the same time period.

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Week-by-week, Comscore’s research shows a steady upward climb for VOD in general with the week of March 29, 2020 having the highest growth for 2020 thus far, up 57% versus the same week in 2019. Of the subcategories, SVOD saw an 116% the week of March 29 from the same week in 2019, while free on demand and TVOD saw 38% and nearly 41% increases, respectively.

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When focusing in on key genres within set-top VOD, the largest increase for transactions in March 2020 versus March 2019 occurred “Fitness” (up 147%), “Life and Home” (up 64%) and “Premium” (up 54%) (e.g., HBO, Showtime, and Starz content). Meanwhile, “Music” fell 10% for the same time period comparison.

Movies Anywhere Screen Pass Sharing Feature Launched to More Users in Open Beta

Digital movie library Movies Anywhere has launched its new Screen Pass feature to more users. The feature allows users to share up to three movies monthly with friends and family for free.

The open beta expands on the beta launch March 17.

“We wanted to start open beta with users we thought were most likely to share,” said Karin Gilford, GM of Movies Anywhere, who added that the stay-at-home orders in the majority of the country make it a good time to help users share their favorite movies with family and friends.

Those who want to participate in the open beta can sign up here.

Screen Pass gives a friend or family member (who must be a Movies Anywhere member) seven days to accept the invitation, and another 14 days to watch the title. Once started, the user has 72 hours to finish watching the movie. A title can be shared unlimited times.

All Movies Anywhere studios are participating in the program, with each studio deciding on Screen Pass eligible titles. Eligible films appear in a scroll on the Movies Anywhere app. Users can send a text or email to share an eligible title. The service notifies recipients if the title is already in their library and they can decline the offer. Movies Anywhere also indicates to sharers how many of the three allowed movies per month they have shared.

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“We have such a great enthusiastic audience, and they look to share their love of movies,” Gilford said. “Now you can really pay it off with just a few clicks. The more friction you can reduce from that recommendation of a movie to a friend the better.”

Movies Anywhere brings together more than 7,900 movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Twentieth Century Film, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), and Warner Bros. Participating digital retailers that connect with the service include iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu/Walmart, Comcast Xfinity, Google Play/YouTube, Microsoft Movies & TV, FandangoNow and Verizon Fios TV.

Paramount and Lionsgate films are not part of the service.

While Movies Anywhere is “always in talks” with potential additional studio and partners, Gilford said, “We are accelerating our connected TV strategy.” Last month, Movies Anywhere launched on LG smart TVs.

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Doc ‘Refugee’ Coming to Digital April 14 From Virgil

Virgil Films will release the documentary Refugee April 14 on digital and VOD.

From the executive producer of Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Refugee is a harrowing account of Europe’s migrant crisis. It follows a family of Syrian refugees separated by the borders of Europe who fight to be reunited as they migrate from Syria to Germany.

In 2015, at the height of the Syrian war, Raf’aa, a Syrian mother, was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice. With her husband Nazem in the hospital, and the bombs getting closer to Qamilshi, she fled Syria to find asylum for her family, leaving Nazem and their two children Ahmed and Hamoudi behind. They had hoped to reunite in Europe within a few weeks, but by the time Nazem and the children left, it was too late. The political climate had changed and the borders to Europe were closed. Safe in Germany, Raf’aa is traumatized by what she witnessed on her journey and prays her children have not endured the same. Meanwhile 2,000 miles away, Nazem and her children live through their own nightmare in one of the worst refugee camps in Europe. Over the next 18 months, viewers witness a testament to the human spirit as the family fights to be reunited and how a father shields his children from what it means to be a refugee.

Refugee from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

FandangoNow Offering Digital Rental Preorders on ‘Trolls World Tour’ With Additional Discount on Other DreamWorks Titles

FandangoNow, the transactional video-on-demand service from Fandango, is for the first time offering preorders for digital rental of Trolls World Tour, debuting digitally April 10.

Also, those who preorder the rental of the film can rent or buy a number of DreamWorks Animation films available on FandangoNow at 50% off the regular price, including the original Trolls. The preorder offer is valid until April 9, and those who preorder the title can enjoy the DreamWorks Animation film discounts through April 17.

“We’re looking forward to working together with DreamWorks Animation on this first-of-its-kind event where housebound film fans can gather around the couch for the highly-anticipated debut of a new movie directly from the studio,” said Cameron Douglas, head of FandangoNow, in a statement. “We’re also pleased to offer an extra incentive where families can watch as many DreamWorks Animation movies available on FandangoNow as they like at a major discount, while getting ready for the April 10 home debut of Trolls World Tour.”

Trolls World Tour, the sequel to 2016’s Trolls, features the return of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden and many more in their original roles. Fans can find an exclusive clip here.

MovieSpree TVOD Service Bows Sales on Animated Kids’ Series Including ‘Gigantosaurus’

MovieSpree, Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional VOD service, is offering sales on several animated kids’ series to keep the little ones occupied while they stay at home.

On March 25, MovieSpree launched the complete first season of the animated kids’ series “Gigantosaurus,” on sale for $22.49 — 25% off of the regular price. In the series, young dinosaurs Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu are growing up in the Cretaceous period where life is always an adventure — new volcanoes are popping up all the time, the long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratops roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky, and the big, fierce Gigantosaurus reigns over it all.

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“Liberty’s Kids”

Also on sale are several complete animated series at $2.99, including “Liberty’s Kids” (including all 40 episodes of the edutainment series), “Street Sharks,” “C.O.P.S.,” “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century,” “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” and “Horseland.”

‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Racing to Digital Early March 31, Debuting on Disc May 19

Sonic the Hedgehog will debut early for digital purchase March 31 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film, which made $306.8 million at the global box office, will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and for rental on demand May 19.

The family film based on the video game character follows the incredibly speedy Sonic the Hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz), aka The Blue Blur, who embraces his new home on Earth. That is, until he accidentally knocks out the power grid and sparks the attention of evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). It’s super-villain vs. super-sonic in an all-out race across the globe to stop Robotnik from using his unique power for world domination. Sonic teams up with The Donut Lord, aka Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), to save the plane.

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Bonus features on digital, 4K Ultra HD combo pack and Blu-ray combo pack include commentary by director Jeff Fowler and Schwartz; “Around the World in 80 Seconds,” Sonic’s next adventure; deleted scenes; bloopers; the “Speed Me Up” music video; “For the Love of Sonic,” in which Carrey and the cast discuss what Sonic the Hedgehog means to them; “Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey”; “The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic”; and “Sonic On Set,” a set visit with Schwartz.

The 4K Ultra HD Digital and 4K Ultra HD disc releases present the film in Dolby Vision with a Dolby Atmos sound.

 

DEG Nordic Launching ‘Mega Movie Week’ Promo to Drive Digital Transactional Market

As consumers around the world stay home during the coronavirus crisis, The Digital Entertainment Group: Nordic Committee (DEGN) March 23 is launching “Mega Movie Week,” a cross-category campaign to drive consumer engagement with the digital transactional market.

During “Mega Movie Week” DEGN members, including NBCUniversal, Nordisk Film, SF Studios, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment, will offer consumers a range of the latest digital movies at special prices for one week only with retailers including the Apple TV app, Google Play Store, Viaplay, SF Anytime, Blockbuster, PlayStation Store, Rakuten TV, Canal Digital, Altibox and Elisa.

“Inspired in part by shared learnings from two successful iterations of ‘Mega Movie Week’ managed in the U.K. by DEGN’s sister association, Digital Entertainment Group International, and by the evolution of previous Scandinavian consumer education campaigns, the DEGN’s ‘Mega Movie Week’ campaign drives awareness for a range of compelling consumer offers aimed at encouraging consumer trial of digital transactional services,” according to DEGN.

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The campaign will be supported by a targeted, multi-territory online media campaign, with digital platforms driving further engagement through a range of on- and off-platform activity and a suite of CRM plans to keep new audiences engaged beyond the week-long campaign, according to DEGN.

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“’Mega Movie Week’ represents an unprecedented collective vision from Nordic territories to embrace an opportunity to capitalize on the growth of digital transaction by encouraging engagement through a compelling, limited time offer,” said Johan Mannerhill, DEGN chair and managing director, Nordic, at Warner Bros. Entertainment, in a statement. “The campaign is the perfect way to drive engagement with the ease of digital purchase and to increase awareness of the benefits it offers. We hope to build upon the learnings from previous ‘Mega Movie Week’ activations spearheaded by the DEGI, at the same time developing a powerful activation wholly relevant to local markets.”

More details on the program are here:

  • DK (Denmark)
  • FI (Finland)
  • SE (Sweden)
  • NO (Norway)

Offers and platforms will vary across territories taking part.