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

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

The Vertical Entertainment drama American Skin, about a Marine veteran who seeks justice when his son is killed by a police officer, finished in first place for the third consecutive week on the chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, but not premium VOD or disc rental) compiled from studio and retailer data and presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

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

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

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

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

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

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

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

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

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

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended Feb. 6.

Palm Springs

STREAMING REVIEW:

Hulu;
Comedy;
Rated ‘R’ for sexual content, language throughout, drug use and some violence.
Stars Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Peter Gallagher, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin.

The idea of reliving the same day repeatedly has become a reliable trope of movies and TV shows looking for a fun way to subject their characters to some existential angst.

Movies such as 1993’s Groundhog Day play the premise for laughs. A sci-fi version of the time loop might put more emphasis on the causes of the phenomenon and how the characters can escape it, such as with 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow or the 1992 “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “Cause and Effect” (which aired nearly a year before Groundhog Day hit theaters). Still other uses can be for horror (the “Happy Death Day” franchise), or to solve a mystery (as in the TV show “Day Break”).

The often hiliarious, sometimes poignant Palm Springs, the latest effort from the Lonely Island comedy team, steers somewhat in between the comedy and sci-fi approaches to great effect.

Andy Samberg stars as Nyles, who continuously wakes up the day of Nov. 9 to attend a wedding in the California desert oasis town of Palm Springs with his girlfriend, the maid of honor. As he discovers she’s cheating on him, he feels completely unfettered to pursue whatever crazy hook-ups he can, knowing the day will reset. Eventually he fixates on Sarah (Cristin Milioti), the sister of the bride, and they run off into the desert to make out. When Nyles is attacked, however, he inadvertently leads her into a mysterious glowing cave that ends up trapping her in the time loop as well, much to her chagrin.

Nyles lays out the rules for her: If she returns to the cave, or dies, or falls asleep, the day resets. Having no desire to relive her sister’s wedding over and over again, she begrudgingly begins hanging out with Nyles since he’s pretty much the only person who can comprehend what she’s going through.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The movie breaks from previous iterations of the premise by leaning hard into the romantic comedy angle of the story as it touches on the idea of how multiple people experiencing the time loop together would adapt to the situation. For the most part, it means having wacky adventures for self-amusement and to alleviate boredom. There’s also some fun playing around with alternate timelines, and the slightest hint, though the concept goes largely unexplored, of the idea of an underground culture of people who are all caught in the time loop (J.K. Simmons pops up from time to time as yet another person trapped in the loop, and finding his own ways of dealing with it).

Sarah’s problem, though, is that no matter how much happiness she finds with Nyles, her day always begins with a reminder of a mistake for which, thanks to the time loop, she can never atone. Thus sets up one of the key philosophical conflicts of the film, as Nyles tries to remind her that while their consequences have no actions upon anyone else, the two of them will remember, and that can weigh heavily on the soul. Of course, that just makes her more determined to find some way to escape the loop.

Follow us on Instagram

While Nyles is a pretty typical character for Samberg, who plays him as a hedonistic loafer bemused by his circumstances, the key casting is Milioti, who deftly handles the comedic and intellectual pathos required for Sarah’s story arc in a way that’s hard to imagine many actresses being able to pull off. While many remember Milioti as the eponymous “mother” in the final season of “How I Met Your Mother,” her role here is more akin to her turn in the Emmy-winning “USS Callister” episode of Netflix’s “Black Mirror” as the crew member least willing to accept her place in the simulation as she rallies those trapped with her to find a way out of it.

Her efforts in Palm Springs will likely result in the film an eminently watchable comedy on its own, once fans have had a chance to loop through it a few times themselves on Hulu.