Fandango Offering First 10 Minutes of ‘Soul’ for Free

For a limited time, fans can watch the first 10 minutes of Soul for free, exclusively at the FandangoNow Extras channel on YouTube and on Fandango’s social channels. The Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning animated film debuts March 23 on Vudu and FandangoNow.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango. The film is on sale at $19.99 on both services and is available in SD and 4K Ultra HD.

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A recent Fandango survey of more than 1,500 people who have already seen Soul found:

  • 88% are fans of the film’s stars, including Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and Angela Bassett;
  • 85% wish there were more life-affirming movies like Soul;
  • 80% are fans of the film’s soundtrack; and
  • 78% are rooting for Soul to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Leads Vudu Chart, ‘The Little Things’ Tops FandangoNow Chart

Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 lassoed the top spot on the Vudu chart and The Little Things, also from Warner, topped the FandangoNow chart for the week ended March 21.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

The Little Things, available via premium VOD rental March 19, is a psychological thriller starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto. It follows a Kern County deputy sheriff (Washington), who is sent to Los Angeles for a quick evidence-gathering assignment, but instead becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. The titled landed at No. 4 on the Vudu chart.

The DC comic-based Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot, topped the Vudu chart after becoming available for digital purchase March 16 following its PVOD rental run. It also came in at No. 2 on the FandangoNow chart.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run — available as a premium VOD rental March 4 (and also to Paramount+ streaming subscribers) — took the silver on the Vudu chart and the bronze on FandangoNow. In the CGI-animated adventure with live action elements, SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing in a plot hatched by Plankton to get the Krabby Patty recipe, and he and his friend Patrick head to the Lost City of Atlantic City to retrieve him. It features appearances by Keanu Reeves and Snoop Dogg, among others.

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Universal/DreamWorks’ blockbuster animated sequel The Croods: A New Age landed at No. 3 on the Vudu chart and No. 4 on the FandangoNow chart for the week. Available for digital purchase and rental, it’s a follow-up to 2013’s The Croods that finds the prehistoric family facing a new challenge when they encounter a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family. As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, until a new threat forces them to work together. The voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Mann.

Coming in at No. 5 on both charts was Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise and available for digital rental and purchase. It stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures.

Two recent Oscar-nominees, Universal’s Promising Young Woman and A24’s Minari, climbed the charts. The revenge thriller Promising Young Woman jumped from No. 10 to No. 6 on the Vudu chart and made its first appearance on the FandangoNow chart, also at No. 6. The five-time Oscar nominee is available for digital rental and purchase. Minari, about a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm, moved up to No. 8 from No. 10 on the FandangoNow chart. The title, available as a premium VOD rental, earned six Oscar nods.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Wonder Woman 1984
  2. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  3. The Croods: A New Age
  4. The Little Things
  5. Monster Hunter
  6. Promising Young Woman
  7. SAS: Red Notice
  8. Greenland
  9. Wrong Turn
  10. News of the World

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Little Things
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  4. The Croods: A New Age
  5. Monster Hunter
  6. Promising Young Woman
  7. SAS: Red Notice
  8. Minari
  9. Cosmic Sin
  10. News of the World

OTT.X Summit Panelists: Transactional VOD, Including PVOD, Here to Stay

Transactional VOD, or the digital rental or sale of titles, is here to stay — including the higher-priced COVID-induced newcomer PVOD — said panelists during the OTT.X spring summit.

“It’s still, if you actually include the declining physical part of the business, it’s still a $10 billion business,” said Fandango’s Cameron Douglas, who oversees transactional services FandangoNow and the recently acquired Vudu. “It also was the first year, last year, that you actually saw growth, combined physical and digital business en masse. So I absolutely think that there’s a continued appetite for consumers for transactional video whether it’s Blu-ray and DVD or TVOD.”

“It’s absolutely here to stay, and the reason for that is that is consumers cannot afford to sign up for every single subscription service that’s out there, and there’s no way that you can replicate the selection that’s available on transactional platforms,” added Jill Allen, SVP of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “It’s just ubiquitous. It’s on every platform. And if you want to watch a movie, you generally know that it’s available to rent or buy somewhere. And then in addition TVOD has various benefits in terms of the windows, too, getting the earlier window. So in the near term I see it continuing. Even though it’s definitely benefited from COVID, looking forward I see it still being a very vibrant, large business.”

Transactional services also offer a deeper library of content than subscription services, panelists noted.

“I don’t know how many pieces of content Peacock has or Netflix has but it’s relatively small compared to a transactional platform,” Douglas added. “I think Vudu, at last count, has 225,000 movies and TV shows. I promise you that even the biggest services on the subscription side have nothing that size library.”

Panelists, clockwise, from left top: Mike Gamboa of Roku, Thomas K. Arnold of Media Play News, Jill Allen of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Michelle Edelman of Premiere Digital, and Cameron Douglas of FandangoNow. (Screen shot courtesy of Marc Rashba)

The studio leap into premium VOD (PVOD), usually a $20 one-time rental, has been successful as well, panelists noted, with Premier Digital’s Michele Edelman saying that a friend had shared a story about watching a first-run film at home.

“She said, ‘I treated myself to a theatrical movie in my house,’” Edelman said. “’I’d just had dinner, and I watched Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar.’ She said, ‘It was the best experience.’”

Edelman noted that “everyone’s screens are bigger,” making watching movies at home more theater-like.

“They’re creating this really great theatrical experience where they are,” she said.

Roku’s Mike Gamboa agreed.

“Consumers love new release movies,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon, but I think they have been demanding the flexibility to watch either in theaters or at home. And I think from our perspective, the success of Trolls [World Tour on PVOD] and Scoob! [also on PVOD] kind of demonstrated that consumers love new-release movies at home, and the economics and technical infrastructure is in place to support that business model. So we do see opportunity and viability of PVOD and TVOD to support the new-release movies.”

Sony’s Allen, too, noted that PVOD produced changes in how the teams at the studio worked together.

“We’ve never collaborated so closely with our theatrical team,” she said.

Indeed, Douglas noted, PVOD titles were able to benefit from theatrical marketing as never before.

“I’m looking forward to a real PVOD title,” Douglas said. “We really haven’t had one. Premium VOD in its initial incarnation was meant to be a theatrical movie that has a short window to home entertainment. Because theaters haven’t really opened up yet, a real PVOD title is going to be the real test.”

With the windows shifting during the pandemic and studios experimenting with different windows and pricing, the calculus in how to release a title has become complex during the past year, Allen said.

“You now have to navigate around a whole new set of competitive windows and, internally, as a content provider, you have to look at when your content is going into other windows as well, too,” she said. “So it’s become a little bit more complex.”

Allen said she has to look at individual release plans for each of her studio’s own titles and also what windows the other studios’ titles are employing.

“You had Wonder Woman [1984] that had multiple new-release windows,” she noted. “If you’re competing against the third new-release window of that, is that now a big deal? So understanding the competitive landscape, very, very complex. Even within each studio, if you have a title that’s on a subscription service. If I have a Christmas-themed movie, and I have it available on an SVOD service, can I sell that movie right now?”

While new releases have been few and far between during the pandemic as the pipeline shrank to a trickle, TVOD services and studios leaned on catalog to fill the gap, panelists noted.

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“We’ve seen huge growth in [catalog] the last year because of the dearth of new release content,” Douglas said, adding the services have noticed “people rediscovering their favorites, collecting them, adding them to their library, including full series of television shows, where they’re buying almost the entire series of ‘Married With Children’ or ‘M*A*S*H’ or ‘The Office.’”

Sony, too, has been mining catalog while production slowed.

“It’s been our lives since COVID started,” Allen said.

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Indeed, consumers are responding by collecting digitally, noted Edelman.

“I just heard the other day, someone said, ‘I started building my digital library,’” she said. “’I now have in my library my absolute favorite films, and I’m buying them at these really discounted prices because it was worth it.'”

“It’s the best subscription service you could ever have,” added Douglas.

Vudu Coming to Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TVs and Fire TV Streaming Devices

Vudu, the transactional VOD service owned by Fandango, is launching in March on Amazon Fire TV Edition smart TVs and Fire TV streaming devices.

Consumers will be able to purchase or rent titles from Vudu on a mobile device or computer and the titles will appear instantly in their Vudu library on Fire TV for playback.

Consumers can also stream Vudu’s catalog of 4K Ultra HD content on Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, or the Fire TV Edition smart TV’s 4K models.

Vudu offers more than 150,000 new-release and catalog movies and TV shows, along with an extensive library of content in 4K Ultra HD. The service has experienced double-digit growth in new accounts in 2020 year over year, according to a Fandango release.

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 “We want Vudu fans to be able to watch movies and TV shows on all of their favorite devices, and Fire TV has been one of our customers’ most-requested devices for streaming content,” Kevin Shepela, EVP and chief commercial officer at Fandango, said in a statement. “With Vudu’s vast library of premium content from new release event movies to favorite films and TV shows, we are excited to deliver to Fire TV users so many new viewing options to watch in their living rooms, many in breathtaking 4K.”

Last week, Vudu launched on Xfinity Flex and X1, and in 2020 it launched on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S, and TiVo. Vudu can also be found on dozens of connected television devices and streaming platforms from Roku, LG, Sony and many others.

FandangoNow and Vudu Launch Sale on Family Titles for ‘Sponge on the Run’ Debut

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run debuts March 4 as a premium VOD rental, and for a limited time, fans who rent the movie on Vudu and FandangoNow can get a code for 50% off the purchase of more than 25 select family titles on the two Fandango transactional VOD services.

Titles include the previous “SpongeBob” movies (The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie), Sonic the Hedgehog, Love and Monsters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wonder Park, Sherlock Gnomes, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Bumblebee, The Rugrats Movie, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Harriet the Spy, Hotel for Dogs, Imagine That, Good Burger, Snow Day, Clockstoppers and a number of other family classics.

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Fandango is also launching this week a trivia video, “From Top to Bikini Bottom: The History of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants.'”

Fandango Spotlights Jodie Foster Filmography; Its Rotten Tomatoes Celebrates Women

Fandango is spotlighting Jodie Foster fresh off her Golden Globe win for The Mauritanian, and its Rotten Tomatoes site is celebrating women in entertainment for Women’s History Month.

The Mauritanian was released March 2 as a premium VOD rental on Fandango’s transaction VOD sites Vudu and FandangoNow.

Foster, who recently won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for The Mauritanian, is spotlighted in Fandango’s latest video featuring performers and filmmakers breaking down moments from their work. Foster takes a look back at memorable scenes from her filmography, including Taxi Driver, The Silence of the Lambs, Little Man Tate, Contact and The Mauritanian.

Each is available for rent or purchase on FandangoNow and Vudu. Additionally, FandangoNow has a curated list of Foster’s films.

Meanwhile, Fandango-owned Rotten Tomatoes is celebrating Women’s History Month, featuring interviews with female directors Issa López (Tigers Are Not Afraid), Gina Prince-Blythewood (Love & Basketball) and Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), who all share their lists of 10 movies everyone should watch this Women’s History Month.

Rotten Tomatoes is also paying homage to the work of women in Hollywood with its Women’s History Month hub, housing viewing guides including the Best Movies Directed By Women in the 21st Century and Fearless Women Movie Heroes Who Inspire Us. Lists highlighting fearless women on TV and streaming and first-time female directors, among others, are set to publish throughout the month.

The female-led films highlighted are available for rent or purchase on Vudu and FandangoNow. Titles can be found in the Celebrating Women’s History Month section of Vudu, and are presented on FandangoNow in the playlists curated by Rotten Tomatoes.

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Vudu Launches on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex

Vudu, a transactional VOD service owned by Fandango, has launched on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex.

To access Vudu over the Internet on X1 and Flex, Xfinity customers can say “Vudu” into the Xfinity Voice Remote.

“Fandango has worked with Xfinity for many years, and we are thrilled to add Vudu’s comprehensive movie and TV offerings to X1 and Flex,” said Mark Young, Fandango SVP, global strategy, business and corporate development, in a statement. “Vudu’s vast library of premium content will now be available to millions of X1 and Flex fans, giving them more ways to enjoy the best entertainment through Xfinity.”

Vudu offers more than 150,000 titles to rent or buy, including new releases, and thousands of titles for free. Serving millions daily, Vudu offers users the ability to create custom lists from their movie and TV library, purchase exclusive “Mix & Match” bundles, access digital copies of their physical films and more. Vudu also features 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR, and Dolby Atmos Cinema Sound.

Titles new to Vudu this month include The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, and Golden Globe winners Minari, The Mauritanian and Pixar’s Soul.

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Vudu has also recently launched on platforms including PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S, along with extensive distribution on dozens of connected television devices and streaming platforms from Roku, LG, Sony and others.

‘Monster Hunter’ Tops Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Sony Pictures’ action-adventure Monster Hunter led the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for the week ended Feb. 21.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise, stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. Also in the cast are Tip “T.I.” Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung and Ron Perlman. The film became available for early digital purchase Feb. 16.

The Universal/DreamWorks animated sequel The Croods: A New Age, newly available to own Feb. 9, took the silver on the Vudu chart and the bronze on the FandangoNow chart. It’s a followup to 2013’s The Croods that finds the prehistoric family facing a new challenge when they encounter a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family. As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, until a new threat forces them to work together. The voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Mann.

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, which was released Feb. 12 as a 48-hour PVOD rental after debuting on WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max, took the No. 2 spot on the FandangoNow chart (No. 3 on Vudu). A sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman, the follow-up reunites director Patty Jenkins with star Gal Gadot and moves the setting from World War I to 1980s America, where the DC Comics heroine confronts the challenges of the Cold War.

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The dystopian disaster film Greenland, which recently became available for digital purchase after a stint as a PVOD rental, fell to No. 4 on both charts. It’s an action thriller that follows a family fighting for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Monster Hunter
  2. The Croods: A New Age
  3. Wonder Woman 1984
  4. Greenland
  5. Willy’s Wonderland
  6. Shadow in the Cloud
  7. Let Him Go
  8. Tenet
  9. Freaky
  10. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Monster Hunter
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. The Croods: A New Age   
  4. Greenland
  5. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  6. Willy’s Wonderland
  7. News of the World
  8. Let Him Go 
  9. Tenet
  10. Promising Young Woman

‘Croods 2’ Again Leads Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

The Universal/DreamWorks animated sequel The Croods: A New Age, newly available to own Feb. 9, popped back to the top of the Vudu and FandangoNow charts the week ended Feb. 14.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

A followup to 2013’s The Croods, the sequel finds the prehistoric family facing a new challenge when they encounter a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family. As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, until a new threat forces them to work together. The voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Mann.

Wonder Woman 1984, which was released Feb. 12 as a 48-hour PVOD rental after debuting on WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max, took the No. 2 spot on both charts. A sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman, the follow-up reunites director Patty Jenkins with star Gal Gadot and moves the setting from World War I to 1980s America, where the DC Comics heroine confronts a wannabe tycoon who gains the power to grant wishes.

The dystopian disaster film Greenland, which recently became available for digital purchase after a stint as a PVOD rental, fell to No. 3 from No. 1 on both charts. It’s an action thriller that follows a family fighting for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary.

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Another Feb. 12 new-to-PVOD rental, Lionsgate’s Barb & Star Go to the Vista Del Mar, also debuted on both charts, at No. 4 on FandangoNow and No. 8 on Vudu. From co-stars and co-writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids), the comedy follows lifelong friends Barb and Star, who embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever. The trip includes romance, friendship and a villain’s evil plot.

Also new to PVOD Feb. 12 was the Nicolas Cage starrer Willy’s Wonderland, which came in at No. 4 on the Vudu chart and No. 5 on the FandangoNow chart. Cage plays a quiet loner who agrees to clean an abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs after his car breaks down. He soon finds himself waging war against possessed animatronic mascots while trapped inside Willy’s Wonderland.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 14, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Croods: A New Age
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. Greenland
  4. Willy’s Wonderland
  5. Freaky
  6. Love and Monsters
  7. Let Him Go
  8. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  9. News of the World
  10. Promising Young Woman

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 14, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Croods: A New Age
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. Greenland
  4. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  5. Willy’s Wonderland
  6. News of the World
  7. Let Him Go
  8. Promising Young Woman
  9. Freaky
  10. Fatale

‘Silence of the Lambs’ on Sale at FandangoNow, Vudu

FandangoNow and Vudu are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the date The Silence of the Lambs debuted on the big screen (Feb. 14) with a sale on the film, a discounted film bundle and a trivia video.

Both FandangoNow and Vudu are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

During the sale, The Silence of the Lambs is available for purchase at $7.99 in both 4K UHD and HD (usually $13.99). Lambs is also available as part of a two-film bundle (with Ridley Scott’s Hannibal) at $9.99.

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Fandango has also produced a Movieclips trivia video on the on-screen evolution of Clarice and Hannibal:

CBS this month debuted a series based on the story called “Clarice.”