Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Q1 Revenue Falls

Universal Pictures’ home entertainment unit April 30 reported first-quarter (ended March 31) revenue of $171 million, down 36% from revenue of $267 million during the previous year period.

The decline reflected the retail success of The Grinch, Halloween and Night School in last year’s first quarter, compared with the relative lower performance from 1917, Downton Abbey and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw in this year’s first quarter.

The revenue did not include Universal’s premium VOD hit Trolls World Tour, which was released on April 10.

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Total studio revenue decreased 22.5% to $1.4 billion, reflecting decreases in theatrical revenue, content licensing, home entertainment and other revenue. Theatrical revenue decreased 28.8%, underscoring difficult comparison to the success of films in the first quarter of 2019, including How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Us and Glass, offset by the performance of films in this year’s first quarter, including 1917, Dolittle and The Invisible Man.

Indeed, The Invisible Man saw its theatrical run cut short by exhibitor shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

Content licensing revenue decreased 15.4%, driven by the timing of when content was made available under licensing agreements, partially offset by the performance of certain 2020 releases that were made available on premium video-on-demand after theater closures due to COVID-19, including Emma and The Hunt.

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Merchandising: Promotions for Halloween

Without much in the way of major new releases for Oct. 29, retailers promoted discounted pricing on a number of Halloween-themed titles.

For example, Target had Hocus Pocus DVDs and “Stranger Things” Blu-rays for $5 each, a Paw Patrol: Halloween Heroes DVD for $8, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Blu-ray for $10.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a 1966 animated television special based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz.

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Best Buy is taking preorders for the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook of Lionsgate’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark for $29.99, for release Nov. 5.

Best Buy’s ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Steelbook

 

Universal Ups Q2 Home Entertainment Revenue

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment July 25 reported second-quarter (ended June 30) revenue of $229 million, which was up nearly 2% from revenue of $225 million during the previous-year period.

Through six months of the fiscal year, home entertainment revenue is up almost 5% to $496 million from $473 million during the previous-year period.

Top-selling titles in the quarter included The Grinch, Halloween and The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

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Overall, studio revenue declined nearly 15% to $1.45 billion from $1.71 billion due in large part to unfavorable comparisons with last year’s theatrical hit, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, partially offset by the performance of The Secret Life of Pets 2 in this year’s second quarter.

For the half-year period, total studio revenue decreased 3.9% to $3.2 billion compared to $3.3 billion in 2018, reflecting lower theatrical and other revenue, partially offset by higher content licensing and home entertainment revenue.

Pre-tax earnings increased 60.3% to $547 million compared to $341 million in 2018, reflecting lower revenue more than offset by lower operating expenses.

‘Halloween’ Tops Disc Sales for January 2019

Universal Pictures’ sequel to/reboot of the horror classic Halloween was No. 1 on the top 10 list of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales for January 2019 according to the NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

Halloween debuted on disc on Jan. 15 and was the top seller its first week in stores.

Sony Pictures’ Venom, the top seller in December and the first two weeks of January, was No. 2 for the overall month of January.

Sony’s Goosebumps 2 landed at No. 3 for the month. It debuted the same week as Halloween.

Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which landed on disc Jan. 29, managed to take the month’s No. 4 spot despite having just a couple days to qualify.

No. 5 for the month went to Universal’s First Man, a Jan. 22 release that was the top seller in its first week.

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Universal had four titles in the month’s top 10, with the Jan. 1 release Night School taking No. 6, and The House With a Clock in Its Walls slipping to No. 9, having debuted in the sixth spot in December.

According to NPD, the January 2019 top 10 by units sold were:

  1. Halloween (2018) (Universal)
  2. Venom (Sony Pictures)
  3. Goosebumps 2 (Sony Pictures)
  4. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney)
  5. First Man (Universal)
  6. Night School (Universal)
  7. Smallfoot (Warner)
  8. Hunter Killer (Lionsgate)
  9. The House With a Clock in Its Walls (Universal)
  10. The Predator (Fox)

 

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Tops 2018 Disc Sales; ‘Venom’ Leads in December

Lionsgate Snags Top Spot on Redbox Disc, Digital Charts with ‘Hunter Killer’

Lionsgate snagged the top spot on both Redbox charts the week ended Feb. 3 with Hunter Killer, an actioner starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman about a squad of Navy SEALs who save the kidnapped Russian president from a military coup.

The film, which earned $15.8 million at the domestic box office, debuted at No. 1 on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming.

The new Lionsgate release pushed the prior week’s top Redbox title, Universal Pictures’ First Man, to No. 2 on both charts.

The biopic about Neil Armstrong’s celebrated 1969 moon landing earned $44.9 million at the domestic box office.

Night School, also a Universal Pictures release, held onto the No. 3 on the Redbox disc-rental chart and moved back up to No. 3, from No. 5 the prior week, on the Redbox on Demand digital chart.

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A third Universal Pictures films, Halloween, the 11th installment in the horror franchise, slipped from No. 2 on both charts the prior week to No. 4 on the kiosk chart and No. 6 on the kiosk chart.

Rounding out the top five on the kiosk chart was Sony Pictures’ Goosebumps 2, down a notch from the previous week.

On the Redbox On Demand digital chart, 20th Century Fox’s The Hate U Give slipped to No. 4 from No. 3 the prior week, while Sony Pictures’ The Wife debuted at No. 5.

The Wife, starring Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, and Christian Slater, is a drama about a wife who grapples with a lifelong deception as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Wife, an art-house film highly praised by critics, debuted at No. 8 on the Redbox kiosk chart.

A third new release, Walt Disney’s The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, debuted at No. 7 on the Redbox kiosk chart. Disney is the only studio that does not sell product directly to Redbox, prompting the kiosk vendor to buy copies at retail. That explains the relatively low showing for film that earned nearly $55 million in North American theaters.

On the Redbox On Demand chart, the newly released Indivisible, from Universal Pictures, debuted at No. 9. The Christian is based on the true story of Darren Turner, an Army chaplain striving to balance his faith with the war in Iraq.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ending February 3

  1. Hunter Killer (new)
  2. First Man
  3. Night School
  4. Halloween (2018)
  5. Goosebumps 2
  6. Venom
  7. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (new)
  8. The Wife (new)
  9. The Hate U Give
  10. White Boy Rick

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ending February 3

  1. Hunter Killer
  2. First Man
  3. Night School
  4. The Hate U Give
  5. The Wife
  6. Halloween (2018)
  7. Alpha (2018)
  8. Boy Erased
  9. Indivisible (new)
  10. Venom

 

Visit the Redbox website.

Buy or rent Redbox On Demand movies.

Universal Pictures Retains Grip on Redbox Disc Rental, Digital Charts

Universal Pictures held onto the two top spots on the Redbox charts the week ended Jan. 27, with First Man debuting at No. 1 and Halloween slipping a notch to No. 2 on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming.

First Man, the biopic about Neil Armstrong’s celebrated 1969 moon landing, earned $44.9 million at the domestic box office. Halloween, the 11th installment that began with the 1978 original also called Halloween, earned nearly 160 million in North American theaters.

A third Universal Pictures release, Night School, slipped to No. 3 on the Redbox disc rental chart and No. 5 on the Redbox on Demand digital chart.

In January, the Kevin Hart-starring comedy, which earned $77.3 million in North American theaters, spent three weeks at No. 1 on the kiosk chart and two weeks in the top spot on the digital chart.

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In addition to First Man, three other new releases debut in the top 10 on the Redbox charts – including a fourth Universal Pictures release, Johnny English Strikes Again, which bowed at No. 10 on the disc chart only. The action comedy sequel to 2011’s Johnny English Reborn follows a secret agent who is called into action when a cyber attack exposes all undercover operatives. The film only grossed $4.4 million in U.S. theaters, but racked up worldwide theatrical earnings of more than $153 million.

The other new releases that debuted in the top 10 are 20th Century Fox’s The Hate U Give, which debuted at No. 6 on the disc-rental chart and No. 3 on the digital chart, and Lionsgate’s American Renegades, which bowed at No. 7 on the kiosk chart only.

The Hate U Give is an adaptation of a young adult novel by Angie Thomas. A gritty urban crime drama that plays into the uproar over cops shooting unarmed black men, the film earned just under $30 million in theaters after an acclaimed premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

American Renegades is an action thriller film about a team of Navy SEALs tasked with salvagaing Nazi gold stored in a bank vault in a submerged town at the bottom of a lake. In the United States the film was released directly to the home market.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ending January 27

  1. First Man (new)
  2. Halloween (2018)
  3. Night School
  4. Goosebumps 2
  5. Venom
  6. The Hate U Give (new)
  7. American Renegades (new)
  8. White Boy Rick
  9. The House With a Clock in its Walls
  10. Johnny English Strikes Again

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ending January 27

  1. First Man
  2. Halloween (2018)
  3. The Hate U Give
  4. Crazy Rich Asians
  5. Night School
  6. Goosebumps 2
  7. Venom
  8. Smallfoot
  9. Bad Times at the El Royale
  10. White Boy Rick

 

Visit the Redbox website.

Buy or rent Redbox On Demand movies.

‘Halloween’ Scares Away ‘Venom’ to Take Over Top Spot on Disc Sales Charts

Universal Pictures’ Halloween reboot has displaced Venom from its month-long reign atop the home video sales charts.

The horror film, which was produced by Blumhouse Productions, debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Jan. 19.

Though it’s technically the 11th film in the “Halloween” franchise, the new installment was created as a direct sequel to the 1978 original film, ignoring the other sequels and the two Rob Zombie remakes from a decade ago. The strategy paid off to the tune of a $159.3 million haul at the domestic box office.

Two additional newcomers pushed Sony Pictures’ Venom to No. 4 in its fifth week, after it spent its first four weeks in the top spot on both the overall and Blu-ray sales charts.

Sony Pictures’ family friendly spookfest Goosebumps 2 bowed at No. 2 on both charts, selling 45% as many copies as Halloween. It earned $46.7 million in U.S. theaters, a bit more than half of what its predecessor took in.

Coming in at No. 3 on both charts was 20th Century Fox’s Once Upon a Deadpool, a ‘PG-13’ version of Deadpool 2 that swaps out the violence for new footage of Deadpool telling the film’s story to Fred Savage in a parody of The Princess Bride.

Universal’s Night School, which had been No. 2 for the previous two weeks, dropped to No. 5.

Blu-ray Disc accounted for 69% of first-week Halloween unit sales, with 19% of its total coming from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray comprised 53% and 4% of the Goosebumps 2 total, respectively.

Halloween was also No. 1 on the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Jan. 20, with Goosebumps 2 debuting at No. 2.

Night School, the top rental for the previous three weeks, dropped to No. 3, with Venom at No. 4. The Lionsgate actioner Speed Kills, a direct-to-video effort starring John Travolta, debuted at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 1-19-19
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 1-20-19
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 1-19-19
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 1-19-19
Sales Report for Week Ended 1-19-19
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 1-21-19

Universal Pictures Continues Redbox Chart Streak With ‘Halloween’

Universal Pictures continues its run on top of the Redbox charts, with the latest installment in the gruesome “Halloween” horror movie franchise debuting at No. 1 on both charts the week ended Jan. 20.

Halloween, the 11th installment that began with the 1978 original also called Halloween, topped both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming.

The new Halloween earned nearly 160 million in North American theaters. It comes full circle, following Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) 40 years after she survived Michael Myers’ initial killing spree chronicled in the first movie.

Halloween bumped another Universal Pictures film, Night School, out of the No. 1 spot it had held for the past three weeks on the Redbox disc-rental chart and two weeks on the Redbox On Demand digital chart.

The Kevin Hart-starring comedy, which earned $77.3 million in North American theaters, slipped to No. 3 on both charts.

Debuting at No. 2 on both charts was another new release, Goosebumps 2, from Sony Pictures. Like Halloween, Goosebumps 2 was released theatrically in time for Halloween. A sequel to 2015’s Goosebumps, the followup racked up a $46.7 million domestic gross.

Venom, a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, slipped to No. 4 from No. 2 on the kiosk chart, and to No. 6 from No. 4 on the digital chart.

Rounding out the top five on the Redbox disc-rental chart was a third new release, Speed Kills, from Lionsgate. The film stars John Travolta as a rich speedboat racing champion who leads a double life that gets him in hot water with both the police and a team of drug lords. It’s the latest in a string of theatrical flops starring the one-time ‘A’ list star.

On the Redbox On Demand digital chart, Lionsgate’s A Simple Favor moved back up to No. 4 from No. 6 the prior week, while the No. 5 spot went to 20th Century Fox’s Bad Times at the El Royale, down two spots from the previous week.

A fourth new release, Warner’s A Star is Born, debuted at No. 8 on the Redbox digital chart. The film – which received eight Oscar nominations, including a nod for “Best Picture,” won’t be available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc until Feb. 19.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ending January 20

  1. Halloween (2018, new)
  2. Goosebumps 2 (new)
  3. Night School
  4. Venom
  5. Speed Kills (new)
  6. White Boy Rick
  7. The Equalizer 2
  8. The House With a Clock in its Walls
  9. Smallfoot
  10. Peppermint

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ending January 20

  1. Halloween (2018, new)
  2. Goosebumps 2 (new)
  3. Night School
  4. A Simple Favor
  5. Bad Times at the El Royale
  6. Venom
  7. The Old Man & The Gun
  8. A Star is Born (2018, new)
  9. The Equalizer 2
  10. White Boy Rick

 

Visit the Redbox website.

Buy or rent Redbox On Demand movies.

Halloween, Horror Titles Get Big Push on Disc, Digital, and Streaming

With the Halloween holiday looming, several players in the home entertainment industry are mounting promotions to push horror and Halloween titles, both on disc and on digital.

Movies Anywhere, the multi-studio digital movie “locker” that lets consumers store their digital films in the cloud and access them at will on various devices, has sent out a “Tis the Season” email blast to registered users with “It,” “The Omen” and “Zombieland” prominently featured in the body of the email.

A link sends consumers to a big, colorful menu of titles, in categories such as “Vintage Horror” (Dracula, The Wolf-Man, The House of Wax, Village of the Damned); “Extreme Horror” (Slender Man, The Strangers, the new Truth or Dare movie with Lucy Hale, and the Jeff Goldblum remake of The Fly); and “Scary Slashers” (I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the original Psycho and the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th).

Milder films for kids and families are grouped together as “Fun Family Frights” (Toy Story of Terror, The Little Vampire, Monster House, Hotel Transylvania 3) and “Spooky Cute” (Casper, Scooby-Doo The Movie, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”).

Earlier in October, the Family Video retail chain had a “blowout” sale of more than 120 Warner Bros. horror films on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, at prices starting at $3.88. Titles included in the sale were The Little Shop of Horrors, Stephen King’s It, and “Final Destination,” “Tim Burton,” “The Conjuring” and “The Nightmare on Elm Street” collections.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of zombie classic Night of the Living Dead, Fandango’s on-demand video service FandangoNow Oct. 1 launched a list of the 25 “freshes” zombie movies, with the George Romero film taking the top spot.

The list was curated by movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on the movies’ Tomatometer scores. (A movie gets a “Fresh” designation when at least 60% of its critic reviews are positive.)

On Oct. 1 only, fans were able to rent any (or all) of the zombie movies on the list at a discounted rate of $1 off the regular price when using the promo code LIVINGDEAD50 at checkout.

On the streaming front, Parrot Analytics is out with a list of the most in-demand horror titles available on subscription SVOD services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu as well as regular linear TV.

At the top of the list is the “American Horror Story” franchise, which according to Parrot between Oct. 1 and Oct. 20 generated 74.8 million Demand Expressions.

Demand Expressions are a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. The metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

No. 2 was “Walking Dead,” with 70.4 million Demand Expressions.

“Fear the Walking Dead” was a distant No. 3, with 20.9 million Demand Expressions, followed at No. 4 by the new Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House” (18 million Demand Expressions) and, at No. 5, by “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (16 million Demand Expressions.