Fandango Unites TVOD Services FandangoNow and Vudu Under Vudu

Fandango has officially announced the combination of its two transactional movie and TV content services Vudu and FandangoNow under Vudu.

The newly updated Vudu replaces FandangoNow as the official movie and TV store on Roku. (Vudu uses Roku Pay.)

The new Vudu service will offer more than 200,000 new release and catalog movies and TV shows to rent or buy digitally, including the largest collection of 4K Ultra HD titles and thousands of titles to watch for free with no subscription required, according to the Fandango release.

Vudu, which was acquired by Fandango in 2020, is available in more than 75 million U.S. TV-connected device households, according to The NPD Group. The service has more than 60 million registered users and serves millions of consumers daily across smart TVs, connected devices, mobile and online, according to the release.

“At Fandango, we’ve been building a digital network that super-serves tens of millions of fans across the entire entertainment lifecycle, from movie and TV discovery with Rotten Tomatoes, to our three theatrical ticketing apps and now an even larger scale Vudu on-demand streaming destination,” said Fandango president Paul Yanover in a statement. “During a time where consumers have a myriad of viewing options, we’re proud to deliver a service that presents an unparalleled library of content, many titles that are not available on subscription services, and the flexibility to pay as you go.”

“Consumer excitement for premium video on-demand has grown significantly as users turn to streaming to access the latest movies and TV show releases,” said Tedd Cittadine, VP, content partnerships, Roku, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with Fandango as we build a future where all TV will be streamed by creating a seamless experience for users to discover and enjoy premium video-on-demand releases.”

Vudu delivers multiple 4K Ultra HD audio-visual experiences, including premium formats such as Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision and is available on Samsung, LG and Vizio Smart TVs; the Roku platform; Amazon Fire TV; Apple TV; Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex; PlayStation; Xbox; TiVo; and more. Other benefits include personalized deals with “Mix & Match” bundles; family-friendly features such as “Kids Mode”; tools to manage digital collections, such as list-building; and the ability to transfer physical discs to digital.

“By bringing its two services together on Vudu, Fandango will be able to rapidly innovate and make bolder, faster enhancements to benefit consumers and partners, especially important during an ever-changing media landscape,” read the release. “Vudu’s size, reach and breadth of content, paired with Fandango’s scale in theatrical ticketing, will provide even more opportunities for studios, brands and marketers to reach a massive high value entertainment audience.”

Starting now, FandangoNow customers can transfer their accounts and movie and TV collections to Vudu. Access to their libraries will thereafter be provided through Vudu. The Movie Store and TV Store on Roku devices will automatically update from FandangoNow to the new Vudu.

Vudu, as was FandangoNow, is part of the Movies Anywhere cloud-based library service.

‘F9’ Races to Top of Vudu and FandangoNow Charts

Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga topped both the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for the week ended Aug. 1.

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

In F9, the ninth installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) leads his crew on another worldwide adventure to stop an evil scheme by his brother (John Cena). The film became available for premium rental July 30.

Lionsgate’s sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard dropped to No. 2 on both charts. An action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard debuted for digital purchase July 27. In the film, the lethal odd couple — bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) and hit man Darius Kincaid (Jackson) — are back. Still unlicensed, Bryce is forced into action by Darius’s wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by the volatile spouses, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a madman (Antonio Banderas).

Debuting at No. 3 on the Vudu chart (No. 4 on FandangoNow) was Sony Pictures’ family friendly Peter Rabbit 2, newly available for digital purchase. In the sequel to 2018’s Peter Rabbit, Bea, Thomas and the rabbits have created a makeshift family, but despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous reputation. Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.

Universal Pictures’ horror thriller The Forever Purge, the latest installment in the dystopian “Purge” franchise about periods when all crime becomes legal, dropped to No. 3 on the FandangoNow chart (No. 5 on Vudu). The film is available as a premium digital rental.

Paramount Pictures’ horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, starring Emily Blunt and written and directed by John Krasinski, slipped to No. 4 on the Vudu chart and No. 5 on FandangoNow’s chart. The title is available for digital rental and purchase. In the film, following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must face the terrors of the outside world as they continue to fight for survival in silence.

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Other new titles on Fandango’s top 10 lists included Warner Bros.’ DC animated sequel Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two (No. 7 on Vudu) and Lionsgate’s Ireland-based romance Finding You (No. 10 on FandangoNow).

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Aug. 1, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. F9: The Fast Saga
  2. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  3. Peter Rabbit 2
  4. A Quiet Place Part II
  5. The Forever Purge
  6. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  7. Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two
  8. Nobody
  9. Wrath of Man
  10. Werewolves Within

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended Aug. 1, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. F9: The Fast Saga
  2. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  3. The Forever Purge
  4. Peter Rabbit 2
  5. A Quiet Place Part II
  6. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  7. Wrath of Man
  8. Mortal Kombat
  9. Cruella
  10. Finding You

‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ Tops Vudu and FandangoNow Charts

Lionsgate’s sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard topped both the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for the week ended July 25.

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

An action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard debuted for digital purchase July 27. In the film, the world’s most lethal odd couple — bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) and hit man Darius Kincaid (Jackson) — are back. Still unlicensed, Bryce is forced into action by Darius’s wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by the volatile spouses, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman (Antonio Banderas).

Universal Pictures’ horror thriller The Forever Purge, the latest installment in the dystopian “Purge” franchise about periods when all crime becomes legal, debuted at No. 2 on both charts. The film is available as a premium digital rental.

Paramount Pictures’ horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, starring Emily Blunt and written and directed by John Krasinski, slipped to No. 3 from the top spot on both charts. The title is available for digital purchase. In the film, following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must face the terrors of the outside world as they continue to fight for survival in silence.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the latest installment in the horror franchise about a paranormal investigator couple battling the supernatural, debuted at No. 4 on both charts. The film is newly available for premium digital purchase and rental.

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Taking the fifth spot on both charts was Warner Bros.’ Wrath of Man, available for digital rental and purchase. Based on the 2004 French film Cash Truck, the actioner pairs director Guy Ritchie with Jason Statham. Statham plays a mysterious new security guard for a cash truck who surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during a heist. The crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from.

Additional newcomers to the charts were Sony Pictures’ comedic drama Here Today (No. 9 on FandangoNow), starring Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish, and the action thriller Midnight in the Switchgrass (No. 10 on FandangoNow), starring Megan Fox, Bruce Willis and Emile Hirsch.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended July 25, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  2. The Forever Purge
  3. A Quiet Place Part II
  4. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  5. Wrath of Man
  6. Nobody
  7. Mortal Kombat
  8. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
  9. Godzilla vs. Kong
  10. Cruella

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended July 25, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  2. The Forever Purge
  3. A Quiet Place Part II
  4. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  5. Wrath of Man
  6. Cruella
  7. Mortal Kombat
  8. Out of Death
  9. Here Today
  10. Midnight in the Switchgrass

FandangoNow Moving to Vudu

FandangoNow, one of two TVOD services owned by Fandango, is moving to Vudu, the other Fandango TVOD service, according to an email sent to customers.

The email introduced the name Vudu Fandango. Fandango acquired Vudu from Walmart in April 2020.

“FandangoNow is moving to Vudu soon!” read the email. “We will soon be one bigger and better service, and still no subscription!”

The email promises “even more movies and TV shows, including thousands for free,” enhanced features such as Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, family-friendly options such as Kids Mode, disc-to-digital transfer, and the ability to watch content on more devices.

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‘Demon Slayer,’ ‘Nobody’ Top Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Demon Slayer: Mugen Train took over the top spot of the Vudu chart the week ended June 27, while the Bob Odenkirk actioner Nobody grabbed No. 1 on the FandangoNow chart.

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

Funimation’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, which became available for digital purchase June 22, is set after the events of the “Demon Slayer” television series and sees Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke embark on a new mission. Together with one of the most powerful swordsmen of the Demon Slayer Corps, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, they investigate the mysterious disappearance of over 40 people aboard the Mugen Train. The film earned $455 million at the global box office. It was No. 5 on the FandangoNow chart.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Nobody, which was No. 2 on the Vudu chart, stars Bob Odenkirk as a family man repressing a dangerous past that resurfaces after he interrupts burglars robbing his home. When he learns his daughter’s kitty bracelet is missing, he snaps and sets off on a mission of revenge looking to vent his deep-seated rage. Read a review here.

Disney’s Cruella, which became available for digital purchase June 25, was No. 2 on the FandangoNow chart and No. 3 on the Vudu chart. The prequel tells the story of the rise of the 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil.

The previous week’s top Vudu title, Warner’s Godzilla vs. Kong, dropped to No. 4 on that chart and No. 6 on the FandangoNow chart. The film from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, stars Alexander Skarsgård and Millie Bobby Brown. In this installment in the Monsterverse, Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe.

The No. 3 FandangoNow title and No. 5 on the Vudu chart was DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed, from Universal Pictures. The next chapter in the “Spirit” franchise begins as a young girl finds a connection to her mother’s legacy as a trick rider and forms a bond with a wild Mustang named Spirit. The film was released in theaters June 4 and is now available via on demand digital rental.

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Warner’s Wrath of Man, the previous week’s top FandangoNow title, dropped to No. 4 on that chart and No. 7 on the Vudu chart. Based on the 2004 French film Cash Truck and available as a premium VOD rental, the actioner pairs director Guy Ritchie with Jason Statham as a mysterious new security guard for a cash truck who surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during a heist, and the crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from.

Also new to the Vudu chart, at No. 6, was Warner’s Batman: The Long Halloween — Part One, an animated adaptation of a popular 1990s comic book storyline in which Batman battles mob violence in Gotham City.

The FandangoNow chart at No. 8 saw the debut of Vertical Entertainment’s Lansky, starring Harvey Keitel as aging mobster Meyer Lansky, who recounts his life during one last Federal investigation.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended June 27, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train
  2. Nobody
  3. Cruella
  4. Godzilla vs. Kong
  5. Spirit Untamed
  6. Batman: The Long Halloween — Part One
  7. Wrath of Man
  8. Mortal Kombat
  9. The Unholy
  10. Spiral: From the Book of Saw

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended June 27, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Nobody
  2. Cruella
  3. Spirit Untamed
  4. Wrath of Man
  5. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train
  6. Godzilla vs. Kong
  7. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
  8. Lansky
  9. The Misfits
  10. Mortal Kombat

The Top Retailers in Home Entertainment 2021: Juggling Act in a Global Pandemic

Welcome to Media Play News’ fourth annual look at the top home entertainment retailers.

Here, we celebrate the retailers who are engaged in the business of distributing home entertainment product on a transactional basis, not via subscription services.

These are the top third-party operators where consumers go to buy or rent movies, TV shows and other filmed content — either digitally or physically on DVD, Blu-ray Disc or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

These transactional players span several categories, from brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retailers that sell physical discs to digital retailers on both the broadband and cable side that sell and rent movies and other filmed content digitally.

Some retailers are hybrids. Amazon sells discs but also sells and rents content digitally. Redbox rents DVDs and Blu-ray Discs through a network of kiosks while also offering consumers the chance to buy or rent movies digitally through its Redbox On Demand Internet service (in addition to its new streaming service). And Walmart, Best Buy and Target, in addition to their dominant footprint in physical disc sales, also sell discs via their growing e-commerce websites.

The past year has posed unprecedented challenges and unique opportunities for transactional retailers. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in store closures and reduced capacity in physical stores, transactional retailers had to juggle a shifting home entertainment model as content owners battled stay-at-home orders and shuttered theaters by experimenting with new business models. Studios jumped in with premium-priced digital purchase and rental schemes that had never before been tried and pushed titles into the digital marketplace more quickly than ever.

Retailers rose to the occasion. For all of 2020, boosted by stay-at-home orders, transactional digital spending posted significant increases, with digital rentals up 18.3% in 2020 over 2019 and digital sales, or electronic sellthrough (EST), up 16%, according to numbers from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Consumers spent more than $2.3 billion renting movies and other filmed content through digital retailers (both cable and Internet) in 2020, compared with just under $2 billion in 2019, and nearly $3 billion on purchases, up from $2.6 billion the prior year.

Meanwhile, physical disc sales continued to slide in 2020. Consumers spent an estimated $2.5 billion on buying Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays in 2020, down 25.6% from $3.3 billion the prior year, according to DEG estimates. Disc sales had been declining for years, but in 2020 sales were further diluted by retail store closures and capacity restrictions.

In the first quarter of this year, uncertainty over what the summer would bring led to a pronounced lack of fresh product, as studios held back releases in anticipation of movie theater reopenings and capacity ramp-ups once vaccination rates increased to the point of herd immunity. Not surprisingly, digital sales fell nearly 18%, while digital rentals (VOD) slipped 26.7%. And combined Blu-ray Disc and DVD sales continued their freefall, declining 25% from the first three months of 2020, when the pandemic had yet to take a significant toll.

Premium video-on-demand (PVOD) figures, not included in DEG consumer spending totals, were anecdotally strong for both the year and first quarter as digital retailers benefited from first-run films hitting their services — usually as $20 rentals — instead of multiplexes. These titles regularly topped the digital retailer charts. In fact, speaking Jan. 27 during an online presentation for DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, Paramount Pictures’ president of worldwide home entertainment Bob Buchi 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.”

While digital led the way, brick-and-mortar retailers with a business centered on DVD and Blu-ray Disc did a yeoman’s job of maintaining the physical transactional business.

“As we begin to see bright light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel and a return to a more normal business, we thank all our retail customers for their resiliency in delivering products and services to the community at large and for continuing to support our category during these challenging times,” says Eddie Cunningham, the former Universal Pictures Home Entertainment president who now runs Studio Distribution Services, the Universal-Warner Bros. disc distribution joint venture.

“It’s been a remarkable year, on so many levels, and I have tremendous gratitude for our retail partners,” says Mike Takac, EVP and head of global platforms and retail at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “Not only did store personnel continue to support the category during what can only be described as an extraordinary year, but our retailers actively helped us transition our WB business into Studio Distribution Services. With a dearth of new releases, they remained committed to our catalog business, which has performed remarkably well.”

“I have been truly inspired by the incredible resilience, agility, innovation and sheer hard work of all of our retail partners and distributors over the last 12 months,” says Craig White, EVP of worldwide sales and distribution at Paramount Home Entertainment. “The pandemic created myriad challenges for physical and digital retailers alike. Meeting consumer demand for quality entertainment at home meant a rapid pivot to focus on catalog and premium windows, which required extreme flexibility from our retail partners. Without them, we could not have delivered the escape and entertainment consumers so desperately needed.”

Not only did retailers help consumers escape, but they also joined the conversation when many took to the streets to protest racial injustice. Retailers responded with content promotions and company programs. Redbox, for instance, launched its “Black Voices. Black Stories.” campaign last June, which is an ongoing initiative that spotlights the African-American experience.

“At a time when our country most needed to listen, learn, reflect and respond, elevating stories like Selma became a priority,” White notes. “I thank our retail partners for their support and their broader efforts throughout 2020.”

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Top Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

Brick-and-mortar sales and rentals of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs over the past year were a smaller portion of the market than in years past as digital purchases and rentals and streaming accelerated. While mass merchant disc sales may have benefited from the fact that consumers were buying a panoply of goods at mass merchants during the pandemic, COVID-19 proved fatal for longtime top rental chain Family Video, which shut its doors in early 2021. A lack of new content, too, hampered disc sales and rentals during the pandemic. Fortunately, retailers and studios helped fill the void with catalog releases and promotions.

“Physical retailers, including Best Buy, Target and Walmart, adapted admirably while always putting their customers first with extensive safety protocols,” Paramount’s White says about the past year. “As a result, they’ve all seen year-over-year catalog performance ahead of industry forecasts and expectations.”

Now, new releases are poised to boost the business.

“In physical home entertainment, as we begin to see more new releases arrive to complement the incredibly strong catalog sales during the pandemic, we are hugely excited by the opportunity to make a real impact at retail again, bringing the excitement back and helping drive shoppers into stores,” says Cunningham.

“The early signs are very positive, with strong new-release performances on the sequels to The Croods and Wonder Woman. The recent early new-release results on Tom & Jerry, The Little Things, The Marksman and Judas and the Black Messiah have all been significantly ahead of even our own lofty expectations, which augurs well for the future.”

On the rental side, Redbox continues to rent discs at its thousands of kiosks while expanding into digital delivery.

“Redbox continued to drive new business initiatives, achieving enviable growth in digital and AVOD while serving physical renters with great catalog offers,” White says.

“We’re proud to be one of the most recognizable and trusted brands in entertainment,” says Galen Smith, CEO of Redbox. “As we expand the business into new areas, we’re building Redbox into the go to destination for entertainment that offers customers the widest possible choice from new-release movies to free entertainment.”

Despite the growth of digital, Cunningham notes that the physical disc business is still vibrant.

“The physical home entertainment business is still worth about $7 billion worldwide at retail (around seven times the size of the much-lauded music vinyl business),” he says. “It brings theater and excitement to stores, it adds fun, is a relatively high-basket addition to most retailers, and helps complement the consumer products sales opportunities on many properties.

“We still have around 25% of transactional consumers who are completely dedicated to purchasing physical content, having never (ever) transacted digitally at this point, with another 37% consuming both digitally and physically, a total of 62% still buying discs. So we have a very long runway left in the physical business where gifting, seasonal and general impulse buying opportunities abound.”

Best Buy

Minneapolis

The consumer electronics chain has more than 1,100 stores in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The chain is known for its exclusive Steelbook Blu-ray cases for catalog and new releases.

Barnes & Noble

New York

The largest brick-and-mortar bookseller in the United States, the chain has more than 600 stores in all 50 states and sells a large breadth of disc titles.

Meijer

Walker, Mich.

The family-owned supercenter chain, featuring groceries, electronics and other items in addition to discs, has more than 250 stores throughout the Midwest in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Redbox

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

The company rents DVDs and Blu-ray Discs via more than 40,000 kiosks and has rented 6 billion discs to date. It has 40 million customers and 39 million loyalty members (up from 34 million in 2020). Via Redbox on Demand, the company also rents and sells content digitally. Redbox has also launched two ad-supported free digital streaming products, Free Live TV and Free On Demand, and more than 8 million devices have accessed the free platform since launch. The company continues to distribute original movies through Redbox Entertainment (16 to date with 24 in the pipeline). In May, Redbox announced a merger with Seaport Global Acquisition Corp. to become a publicly traded company (see Q&A with CEO Galen Smith, page 9).

Target

Minneapolis

The chain has more than 1,900 stores in the United States. On the home entertainment front, Target often includes gallery booklets with releases and has other exclusive packaging and products as well. Discs are often displayed prominently on endcaps near the front registers.

Walmart

Bentonville, Ark.

The chain, long the top seller of discs, has approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and e-commerce websites. On the physical disc side, in addition to exclusive add-ons such as toys, Walmart offers some Warner DVDs at lower prices with limited or no bonus materials.

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Top E-Commerce Retailers

E-commerce entertainment sales became even more important during the pandemic at both online goliath Amazon and brick-and-mortar stores with strong online presences.

“DotComs, inclusive of Walmart, Target and Best Buy, served customers well through online and in-store or curbside pick-up initiatives, and achieved record growth, due in no small part to [distributors] AEC and Ingram, whose support was crucial,” says Paramount’s White.

Amazon.com

Seattle

A top seller of discs online, the e-commerce pioneer posted record 2020 results. Annual revenue topped an eye-watering $386 billion, up almost 38% from $280.5 billion in 2019. Online sales for the year topped $197 billion. E-commerce includes myriad products, but the company points out that revenue includes media products available in both a physical (DVD and 4K UHD and Blu-ray Disc) and digital format, such as books, music, videos, games and software. These product sales include digital products sold on a transactional basis.

Bestbuy.com

At the consumer electronics chain, online sales grew almost 90% to a record $6.7 billion for the quarter ended Jan. 31, and made up 43% of a total $15.4 billion in domestic sales.

Target.com

In the first quarter of 2021, the chain reported that digital comp-sales grew 50%, on top of 141% growth a year ago.

Walmart.com

Online sales at the chain exploded 69% in the quarter ended Jan. 31, and 79% for the fiscal year.

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Top Broadband Digital Retailers

Online digital sales and rentals, like e-commerce, got a boost as consumers stayed home during the pandemic. While much of the hype surrounded SVOD and AVOD services, “transactional sort of quietly had a moment in 2020,” said Fandango VP of home entertainment Cameron Douglas at the American Film Market in November. Fandango owns both FandangoNow and Vudu, top transactional digital services.

Other key factors in the growth of digital sales and rentals were premium-priced digital sales (PEST) and rentals (PVOD). With theaters closed, studios began to offer first-run movies digitally via $20 premium rental or premium-priced purchase in a window before traditional digital rental and EST. The move saw titles originally intended for the multiplex top the charts at services such as Vudu, FandangoNow and Microsoft Movies & TV.

“Fandango offers consumers the ultimate choice in their premium viewing experience, whether it’s through Fandango ticketing or through TVOD,” says Douglas. “We’re there to support fans who want to watch more movies in a premium, first-run window, whether they’re buying their tickets on Fandango for that unique big-screen experience in a movie theater, or renting or purchasing a movie at home with Vudu or FandangoNow.”

Microsoft’s Dametra Johnson-Marletti, corporate VP of Microsoft Digital Stores Category Management, told Media Play News in January that “digital movies are as collectible as discs. … In many ways digital movie collections offer a level of security, portability, and confidence that discs cannot. Your entire library can be accessed from almost any device, it travels with you seamlessly, and you never have to worry about damaged or lost discs.”

Indeed, digital transactional retailers took the pandemic as a chance to grow the business.

“Digital retailers delivered more content to existing customers, captured lapsed users and acquired entirely new digital customers with a combination of early new-release windows and innovative catalog promotions,” says Paramount’s White. “Among the standouts were Amazon’s Prime Video Cinema branding and its breadth of promotion across the Prime Video store, Vudu/FandangoNow’s unique retail promotions, and Apple’s franchise and bundle offers. Google also performed exceptionally well capturing planned and impulse consumption across Google Play and YouTube.”

“Our digital transactional retailers have been very nimble, especially with respect to varied windowing and pricing approaches on PVOD and PEST,” says Warner’s Takac. “Their support and flexibility have been critical as we adapt to the marketplace and measure results. It’s been amazing to watch the creativity and inventiveness of retailers like Vudu/FandangoNow, who make big merchandising statements each week with less content firepower than usual. We also appreciate the partnership with platforms like Apple, who are working in lockstep with us to sell subscriptions to HBO Max while featuring transactional content in harmony with key events, like the ‘Friends’ reunion special.”

All of these top digital transactional retailers are part of the Movies Anywhere cloud-based locker service, which allows consumers to keep all their digital purchases in one place.

Amazon

Seattle

The online retailer not only offers the Prime streaming service and e-commerce disc sales, but also allows consumers to rent or buy titles digitally.

Apple TV

Cupertino, Calif.

The app, offering digital purchases and rentals of movies, is available on Apple devices, smart TVs, gaming consoles and more.

Google/YouTube

Mountain View, Calif.

The online behemoth offers digital rentals and purchases of TV shows and movies.

Microsoft Movies & TV

Redmond, Wash.

The service offers digital rentals and purchases of TV shows and movies on the app, on the Xbox console or a Windows device.

Vudu/FandangoNow

Beverly Hills, Calif. (parent Fandango)

Both Vudu (formerly owned by Walmart) and FandangoNow are transactional digital rental and purchase services owned by movie-ticketing site Fandango, which is owned by Comcast and also owns movie-rating goliath Rotten Tomatoes.

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Top MVPD Retailers

Multichannel video programming distributors, such as cable and satellite services, through their value-add, on-demand services also helped to deliver transactional content as consumers stayed home. Oft overshadowed in the media by the flashier streaming services of many of their corporate parents, these MVPD transactional services offered subscribers a choice of many films not available for streaming.

“MVPD’s strength in family/holiday entertainment and promotion became abundantly evident as they delivered at a time of real need for their customers,” notes Paramount’s White.

Some of these providers, Comcast Infinity, DirecTV and Verizon Fios, are among the handful of digital retailers that support the cloud-based movie rights locker system Movies Anywhere.

Altice

New York

The U.S. broadband communications and video service provider serves approximately 4.9 million residential and business customers across 21 states through its Optimum and Suddenlink brands.

AT&T TV

Dallas (parent AT&T)

The service offers on-demand content and is expected to spin off into a separate entity with DirecTV.

Comcast Xfinity

Philadelphia (parent Comcast)

The Xfinity service, owned by Comcast Corp., offers digital content to buy or rent. Access is promoted through Comcast’s cloud-based X1 set-top box. The service is also available via the Xfinity Flex streaming device.

DirecTV

El Segundo, Calif.

A division of giant telecom AT&T, the satellite provider offers digital sales of movies and TV shows as well as rental of movies to subscribers. DirecTV is expected to spin off into a separate entity.

Dish Network

Englewood, Colo.

The satellite service offers its subscribers titles on demand, including premium early access.

Spectrum

Stamford, Conn.

The brand of services from cable operator Charter Communications offers on demand titles.

Verizon Fios

Keller, Texas

Parent Verizon Communications uses the brand to market Internet, telephone and TV service. The television service offers purchases and rentals of titles.

‘Cruella’ Now Available for Digital Purchase — Free Preview of First Nine Minutes Available via Fandango

Disney’s Cruella became available for digital purchase June 25, and online movie hub Fandango is offering an exclusive free preview of the film’s first nine minutes.

The film, a prequel to 101 Dalmatians, stars Emma Stone as a young Cruella de Vil when she was a young grifter named Estella during the punk rock revolution in 1970s London. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), setting off a chain of events that leads Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella. The cast also includes Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Mark Strong.

The preview is available through the FandangoNow Extras YouTube channel and Fandango’s social media accounts, and available to buy for $29.99 in standard-definition, high-definition and 4K ultra-high-definition through Fandango-owned transacational video services Vudu and FandangoNow.

The preview is embedded here:

The film was previously available as a $29.99 Premier Access add-on to the Disney+ streaming service, and was simultaneously released in theaters, where it has earned more than $162 million worldwide. Cruella will be released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 21.

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‘Godzilla vs. Kong,’ ‘Wrath of Man’ Top Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Godzilla vs. Kong returned to the top of the Vudu chart for the week ended June 20, while the Jason Statham actioner Wrath of Man hung on to the top spot on the FandangoNow chart for a fourth consecutive week.

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

Newly available for regular digital purchase after a stint as a premium digital buy, Godzilla vs. Kong, from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, stars Alexander Skarsgård and Millie Bobby Brown. In this installment in the Monsterverse, Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The film took the No. 2 spot on the FandangoNow chart.

Warner Bros.’ Wrath of Man, based on the 2004 French film Cash Truck and available as a premium VOD rental, pairs Statham with director Guy Ritchie. In the film, a mysterious new security guard for a cash truck surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during a heist, and the crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. The marksman’s ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle a score. It took the No. 3 spot on the Vudu chart.

Taking the silver on the Vudu chart (No. 4 on FandangoNow) was Universal Pictures’ Bob Odenkirk action thriller Nobody, available for digital purchase and rental. In the film, Odenkirk plays a mild-mannered father and husband who hits a boiling point when he’s robbed.

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Coming in at No. 3 on the on FandangoNow chart (No. 5 on the Vudu chart) was Lionsgate’s horror sequel Spiral: From the Book of Saw, available as a premium digital rental. Spiral centers on Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock), who is working in the shadow of his father, an esteemed police veteran played by Samuel L. Jackson. Along with his rookie partner (Max Minghella), Banks takes charge of an investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past.

Thanks to the theatrical bow of The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the original 2017 action-comedy has re-emerged on Vudu’s top 10 list at No. 8. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is now on sale on both transactional streaming services.

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

  1. Godzilla vs. Kong
  2. Nobody
  3. Wrath of Man
  4. Mortal Kombat
  5. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
  6. The Misfits
  7. Raya and the Last Dragon
  8. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  9. Rogue Hostage
  10. Voyagers

 

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

  1. Wrath of Man
  2. Godzilla vs. Kong
  3. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
  4. Nobody
  5. The Misfits
  6. Mortal Kombat
  7. Queen Bees
  8. Dream Horse
  9. Raya and the Last Dragon
  10. Rogue Hostage

‘Nobody,’ ‘Wrath of Man’ Top Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

The Bob Odenkirk action thriller Nobody led the Vudu chart for the week ended June 13, while the Jason Statham actioner Wrath of Man, which led both the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for two consecutive weeks, managed to hang on to the top spot on the FandangoNow chart for a third consecutive week.

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

Universal Pictures’ Nobody, newly available for digital purchase, managed to dethrone Wrath of Man for the top spot on the Vudu chart. In the film, Odenkirk plays a mild-mannered father and husband who hits a boiling point when he’s robbed. The film took the bronze on the FandangoNow chart.

Warner Bros.’ Wrath of Man, based on the 2004 French film Cash Truck and available as a premium VOD rental, pairs Statham with director Guy Ritchie. In the film, a mysterious new security guard for a cash truck surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during a heist, and the crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. The marksman’s ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle a score. It took the No. 2 spot on the Vudu chart.

Coming in at No. 2 on the FandangoNow chart (No. 3 on Vudu) was Lionsgate’s horror sequel Spiral: From the Book of Saw, available as a premium digital rental. Spiral centers on Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock), who is working in the shadow of his father, an esteemed police veteran played by Samuel L. Jackson. Along with his rookie partner (Max Minghella), Banks takes charge of an investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past.

Godzilla vs. Kong, from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, fell to No. 4 on both charts. The film stars Alexander Skarsgård and Millie Bobby Brown and is available for premium digital purchase ($29.99). In this installment in the MonsterVerse, Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe.

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Coming in at No. 5 on the FandangoNow chart was Gravitas Ventures’ dramatic comedy Queen Bees, available at a premium digital rental. In the film, while her house undergoes repairs, a fiercely independent senior Helen (Ellen Burstyn) moves into a nearby retirement community temporarily. Once behind the doors of Pine Grove Senior Community, she encounters lusty widows, cutthroat bridge tournaments and a hotbed of bullying “mean girls” the likes of which she hasn’t encountered since high school, all of which leaves her yearning for the solitude of home. But somewhere between flower arranging and water aerobics Helen discovers that it’s never too late to make new friends and perhaps even find a new love. The film also stars James Caan, Ann-Margret, Jane Curtain and Christopher Lloyd.

Taking the fifth spot on the Vudu chart was Warner Bros.’ Tom & Jerry, the live-action/animation hybrid family comedy based on the iconic cat and mouse duo.

The 1993 family favorite The Sandlot made it to the Vudu top 10 list in the No. 7 position. The title is currently on sale for $4.99 for Father’s Day.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended June 13, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Nobody
  2. Wrath of Man
  3. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
  4. Godzilla vs. Kong
  5. Tom & Jerry
  6. Mortal Kombat
  7. The Sandlot
  8. Voyagers
  9. The Marksman
  10. Four Good Days

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended June 13, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Wrath of Man
  2. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
  3. Nobody
  4. Godzilla vs. Kong
  5. Queen Bees
  6. Rogue Hostage
  7. Dream Horse
  8. Mortal Kombat
  9. Profile
  10. The Unholy

Vudu Bows List of Top NYC Movies as ‘In the Heights’ Debuts

Fandango’s Vudu streaming service has created a list of the best New York City movies ever made, ranked on Rotten Tomatoes.

The list celebrates movies in which the five boroughs play a role, in honor of this week’s theatrical release of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, which offers a tour of Manhattan’s Washington Heights community and ranks as Fandango’s top ticket-seller for the weekend.

The Vudu collection of top NYC Movies includes comedies, dramas, horror flicks, monster movies and musicals.

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“There’s something about New York City that’s incredibly cinematic, and it’s not a coincidence that many of the most popular movies of all time, from The Godfather to Goodfellas to Do the Right Thing to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, are set in the five boroughs,” Fandango managing editor Erik Davis said in a statement. “With this week’s release of In the Heights, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the best of the Big Apple on the big screen.”

To compile the films in the editorial guide, Rotten Tomatoes gathered an extensive list of movies set in and about New York, and then ranked them by their adjusted Tomatometer, a formula that takes into account their Tomatometer scores but also number of reviews, year of release, and more, to make comparing movies from different eras fairer. The top 212 selections made the cut, with the “212” number chosen because it was the first area code assigned to New York City in 1947.