‘Black Widow’ Tops U.K. Home Entertainment Chart for Second Week

Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Widow remained atop the Official Film Chart in the U.K. for the second week, ended Sept. 29, driven by packaged-media sales, including DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray.

The Scarlett Johansson starrer held off Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Monster Hunter, which climbed two spots to No. 2.

The week’s highest new entry was John Carpenter’s 1982 sci-fi horror The Thing, which made its chart debut at No. 3 thanks to a brand-new re-issue on 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc. The movie knocked Lionsgate’s Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard down to No. 4, and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Nobody to No. 5.

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Warner’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (No. 6) and Paramount Home Entertainment’s A Quiet Place Part II (No. 7) both fell one spot, while Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit 2 (No. 8) and Warner’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League (No. 9) held onto their positions from the previous week. Rounding off the top 10 was Godzilla vs. Kong (Warner), which climbed 11 spots.

Rank Previous Week Movie, Studio Peak
Position
Week on Chart
1 1
BLACK WIDOW, DISNEY/MARVEL
1 2
2
MONSTER HUNTER, SONY PICTURES
2 3
3 NEW
THE THING, UNIVERSAL
3 1
4
HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD, LIONSGATE
1 3
5
NOBODY, UNIVERSAL
2 4
6
THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, WARNER
2 5
7
A QUIET PLACE PART II, PARAMOUNT
1 6
8 8
PETER RABBIT 2, SONY PICTURES
1 10
9 9
ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, WARNER
1 23
10 21 
GODZILLA VS. KONG, WARNER
1 18

 

‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ Enters U.K. Home Entertainment Chart No. 1

The Lionsgate U.K. action-comedy Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard made its U.K. retail debut atop the weekly home entertainment sales chart for the period ended Sept. 15. The sequel to the 2017 buddy actioner The Hitman’s Bodyguard, co-starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, led all titles in packaged-media and digital unit sales. A combo of the two movies ranked No. 9 in sales.

Warner’s horror sequel The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It remained at No. 2 for a second week, while fantasy adventure newcomer Monster Hunter, starring Milla Jovivich, Tony Jaa and Ron Perlman, debuted at No. 3, driven by digital sales.

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The former headliner, Paramount Home Entertainment sequel A Quiet Place Part II, dropped to No. 4. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Nobody was No. 5, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Peter Rabbit 2 finished No. 6 — both falling one place on the chart since last week.

Disney’s Cruella remained at No. 7, while Oscar winner The Father (Lionsgate) dropped five spots to No. 8. Finally, Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Warner) climbed three spots to return to No. 10.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Sept. 15, 2021

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 NEW HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD LIONSGATE
2 2 THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT WARNER
3 NEW MONSTER HUNTER SONY PICTURES
4 1 A QUIET PLACE PART II PARAMOUNT
5 4 NOBODY UNIVERSAL
6 5 PETER RABBIT 2 SONY PICTURES
7 7 CRUELLA DISNEY
8 3 THE FATHER LIONSGATE
9 NEW THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD/HITMAN’S WIFE’S LIONSGATE
10 13 ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE WARNER

 

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ Scores Third Week Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II held on to score a third week at No. 1 on the U.K. Official Film Chart through Sept. 8, following its release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

With 71% of its total this week made up of physical copies, A Quiet Place Part II denied Warner Home Video’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It the top spot, though the horror sequel did take the title of the week’s biggest digital download.

Oscar-winner The Father (Lionsgate) climbed four places to No. 3, thanks to its release on disc, landing just ahead of the highest new chart entry, Universal Pictures’ Nobody at No. 4.

The actioner stars Bob Odenkirk as Hutch Mansell, a dad who finds himself the target of a vengeful drug lord after he intervenes to help a woman being harassed by a group of men. The formerly non-confrontational father is then forced to head down a brutal path in order to save his family.

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David Lynch’s original 1984 Dune (Sanctuary) made a top 10 debut at No. 6 thanks to its re-release via a new 4K Ultra HD package. Finally, A Quiet Place:2-Movie Collection soared 23 places to a new peak at No. 8 thanks to its release on physical formats.

This week’s Official Film Chart online show features a preview of crime thriller The Birthday Cake starring Ewan McGregor, available to download and keep from Sept. 13.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Sept. 8, 2021

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 1 A QUIET PLACE PART II PARAMOUNT
2 2 THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT WARNER
3 7 THE FATHER LIONSGATE
4 New NOBODY UNIVERSAL
5 4 PETER RABBIT 2 SONY PICTURES
6 New DUNE SANCTUARY
7 5 CRUELLA DISNEY
8 31 A QUIET PLACE 2-MOVIE COLLECTION PARAMOUNT
9 3 LUCA DISNEY
10 6 GODZILLA VS KONG WARNER

© Official Charts Company 2021

Disney Studios Q3 Content Sales, Licensing Revenue, Income Falls

The Walt Disney Co. Aug. 12 said its studio “content sales/licensing and other” business segment saw third-quarter revenue of $1.7 billion, down 23% from revenue of $2.2 billion during the previous-year period. Operating income decreased 58% to $132 million, from operating income of $314.2 million last year.

Disney said the decrease in operating income was due to lower home entertainment and theatrical distribution results. The decrease in home entertainment was due to lower unit sales of new-release titles, reflecting the performance of Raya and the Last Dragon and Soul in the current quarter compared with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Frozen II, Onward, Call of the Wild and Ford v. Ferrari in the prior-year quarter, along with lower catalog sales.

Disney’s first Premier Access release, Mulan, is the studio’s top-selling new release in 2021 with $4.4 million in combined SDVD/Blu-ray Disc unit sales.

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Notably, Soul was released free to Disney+ subscribers on Christmas Day 2020, and made available on packaged media March 23. Raya and the Last Dragon was offered into traditional retail channels on May 18 — two months after its box office/Disney+ debut.

Disney reiterated that movies available for distribution in the home entertainment window have been impacted by the production delays and fewer theatrical releases since the onset of the pandemic.

The decrease in theatrical distribution results was primarily due to higher marketing expense for future releases and lower operating income from titles in release. Cruella was released in the current quarter, whereas there were no titles released in the prior-year quarter.

Sony’s ‘Peter Rabbit 2’ Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Chart for Third Week

What a difference packaged media makes.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway finished No. 1 on the Official Film Chart in the U.K. following the sequel’s release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. With 87,000 unit sales, Sony’s family feature finished ahead of all other releases on digital and physical formats for the week ending Aug. 11.

Peter Rabbit 2 streets on disc in the U.S. on Aug. 24.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Croods finished No. 2, while Warner’s Space Jam was No. 3. The Peter Rabbit 1 & 2 collection moved up to No. 4, while Universal’s Oscar-winning Promising Young Woman moved up to No. 5 position.

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At No. 6, the week’s highest new entry came from Disney’s Luca, about a boy named Luca and his best friend Alberto, who spend an unforgettable summer having the time of their lives with their new friend Giulia. But their fun is threatened by a pretty big secret: They’re actually sea monsters from a different world just below the water’s surface.

Warner’s Birds of Prey climbed two spots to No. 7, while Zack Snyder’s Justice League dropped four spots to No. 8, and Tom & Jerry fell three spots to No. 9. Finally, Godzilla vs. Kong rounded out the Top 10 releases of the week.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Aug. 11, 2021

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 1 PETER RABBIT 2 SONY PICTURES
2 2 THE CROODS UNIVERSAL/DREAMWORKS
3 3 SPACE JAM WARNER
4 5 PETER RABBIT 1 & 2 SONY PICTURES
5 10 PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN UNIVERSAL
6 NEW LUCA DISNEY
7 9 BIRDS OF PREY … WARNER
8 4 ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE WARNER
9 6 TOM & JERRY (2021) WARNER
10 7 GODZILLA VS. KONG WARNER

© Official Charts Company 2021

‘Peter Rabbit 2’ Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Chart For Second Week

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway held onto the No. 1 spot on the Official Film Chart in the United Kingdom for a second consecutive week, ending Aug. 4.

The live-action animated sequel is still connecting with consumers on digital downloads only. The James Corden and Rose Byrne-led movie continues to hold as the U.K.’s biggest film, beating competition from the 2013 animated adventure The Croods at No. 2, which has enjoyed a recent resurgence thanks to the release of its own sequel in theaters.

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The original Space Jam (Warner) held at No. 3 for a third consecutive week, as Zack Snyder’s Justice League jumped four spots to No. 4, and double feature set Peter Rabbit 1 & 2 dropped to No. 5. The animated and real world collide in Tom & Jerry, which chased its way back up four spots to No. 6. Warner’s Godzilla vs. Kong dropped to No. 7 and the studio’s Mortal Kombat sank to No. 8.

Warner’s Birds of Prey climbed 13 spots to No. 9, returning to the Top 10 for the first time since March, thanks to the release of the recent Suicide Squad sequel, and Universal Pictures’ critically-acclaimed Promising Young Woman rounded out the top 10.

Overall, Warner again dominated retail channels with 60% of the top-selling titles, followed by Sony (20%) and Universal/DreamWorks Animation (20%).

The highest new entry on the Official Film Chart came from British thriller Six Minutes To Midnight at No. 15. Written by Eddie Izzard and Celyn Jones, and written and directed by Andy Goddard, the WWII-set drama includes Izzard, Judi Dench and Nigel Lindsay among its cast.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – Aug. 4, 2021

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 1 PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY SONY PICTURES
2 7 THE CROODS UNIVERSAL/DREAMWORKS
3 3 SPACE JAM WARNER
4 8 ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE WARNER
5 2 PETER RABBIT 1 & 2 SONY PICTURES
6 10 TOM & JERRY (2021) WARNER
7 6 GODZILLA VS. KONG WARNER
8 5 MORTAL KOMBAT (2021) WARNER
9 22 BIRDS OF PREY … WARNER
10 9 PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN UNIVERSAL

© Official Charts Company 2021

Theater Group Slams Disney’s ‘Black Widow’ PVOD Release Strategy Following Box Office Drop

NEWS ANALYSIS — Following the 80% drop at the domestic weekend box office for Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, which saw Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy, featuring NBA superstar LeBron James, finish No. 1 in ticket sales, one interested party is blaming Disney+ and PVOD.

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has long been a champion of the theatrical window — the 90-day exclusive period enriching exhibitors and studios while laying the groundwork for secondary distribution channels such as packaged media retail, digital and pay-TV.

Disney, via Marvel superhero movies, dominated the last pre-pandemic theatrical year in 2019 with more than $11.1 billion in global box office revenue. But the times have changed, and with vaccinations becoming politicized and moviegoers now presented with earlier in-home movie access via HBO Max (Warner) and premium VOD (Disney, Universal, Lionsgate) and Paramount+ and Peacock (NBCUniversal), NATO is fuming at the fiscal repercussions.

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Indeed, Warner is releasing its entire 2021 theatrical slate — including Space Jam: A New Legacy — concurrently for free to subscribers on Max. Disney has made select movies (i.e. Black Widow) available for $29.99 purchase on Disney+.

Citing Black Widow’s excellent reviews, positive word of mouth, and strong previews and opening day total ($13.2 million/$39.5 million), the trade group was surprised by the movie’s 41% second-day drop in ticket sales, a weaker-than-expected opening weekend, and a stunning second weekend collapse in theatrical revenues.

“Why did such a well-made, well-received, highly anticipated movie underperform?,” the group asked in a July 18 statement.

NATO contends that despite assertions that the pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous home entertainment release model, the legacy exclusive theatrical release window translates into more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life.

Based on comparable Marvel titles, and other successful pandemic-era titles like F9: The Fast Saga and A Quiet Place Part II opening day to weekend ratios, NATO says Black Widow should have opened to anywhere from $92 million to $100 million. Based on preview revenue, compared with the same titles, Black Widow could have opened to anywhere from $97 million to $130 million.

Widow opened with a $80 million domestic box office weekend.

NATO contends early analysis pointed at the $60 million in Disney’s Premier Access (PVOD) revenue and compared it to the domestic theatrical of $80 million and suggested a success, especially since Disney keeps every dollar of home release.

“It does not,” writes NATO. “Approximately 15% of revenue goes to the various platforms through which consumers access Disney+. It ignores that Premier Access revenue is not newfound money, but was pulled forward from a more-traditional PVOD window, which is no longer an option.”

The trade group pointed out the average number of people per household in the U.S. is 2.37 — a number considered to be higher among family-oriented Disney+ households.

“How much password sharing is there among Disney+ subscribers?,” asked NATO. “Combined with the lost theatrical revenue and forgone traditional PVOD revenue, the answer to these questions will show that simultaneous release costs Disney money in revenue per viewer over the life of the film.”

Piracy no doubt further affected Black Widow’s performance, and will affect its future performance in international markets where it has yet to open.
Pristine digital copies became available within minutes of release on Disney+. Black Widow was the most pirated movie for the week endedJuly 12. It was also available on myriad illegal streaming sites all over the Internet.

NATO said similar digital piracy/password sharing occurred for all simultaneous releases, including Wonder Woman 1984, Godzilla vs. Kong, Cruella and Mortal Kombat).

“This did not happen for F9 or A Quiet Place 2,” wrote NATO. “How much money did everyone lose to simultaneous release piracy?”

The trade group suggests that the many questions raised by Disney’s limited release of streaming data opening weekend are being “rapidly answered” by Black Widow’s “disappointing and anomalous” performance.

“The most important answer is that simultaneous release is a pandemic-era artifact that should be left to history with the pandemic itself,” wrote NATO.

Warner’s ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Posts Fifth Week Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Warner Bros.’ Zack Snyder’s Justice League returned to No. 1 on the U.K.’s Official Film Chart the week ended June 16 following a photo-finish race with the studio’s Godzilla vs. Kong.

With just 550 unit sales separating the two titles, Zack Snyder’s Justice League scooped its fifth non-consecutive week at the top, boasting this week’s highest sales on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, while Godzilla vs. Kong at No. 2 is the week’s biggest seller on digital download.

Paramount’s A Quiet Place snuck up one place to No. 3 as fans of the post-apocalyptic franchise catch up with the original following its sequel’s theatrical release, knocking Warner’s Tom & Jerry: The Movie to No. 4. Disney’s animated adventure Raya and the Last Dragon held on at No. 5, and Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner) swooped up one place to No. 6.

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Paramount’s classic action-adventure collection of four “Indiana Jones” movies entered the chart at No. 7 thanks to the release of a new 4K Blu-ray Disc boxed set. Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking dropped two places to No. 8, landing just ahead of this week’s highest brand new entry, Universal’s 2 Hearts, at No. 9.

Entering on digital downloads only, 2 Hearts is a romantic drama telling the stories of two couples whose narratives unfold in different decades and different places — until a hidden connection brings them together in unimaginable ways, challenging the audience to believe that anything is possible.

Finally, former chart-topper Tenet (Warner) returned to the Top 10 after climbing six places to No. 10.

Warner dominated the week comprising 50% of the top-selling titles, followed by Paramount with 20%.

 

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – June 16, 2021

Rank Previous Week Movie Studio
1 2 Zack Snyder’s Justice League Warner
2 1 Godzilla vs. Kong Warner
3 4 A Quiet Place Paramount
4 3 Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021) Warner
5 5 Raya and the Last Dragon Disney
6 7 Wonder Woman 1984 Warner
7 New Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection
Paramount
8 6 Chaos Walking Lionsgate
9 New 2 Hearts Universal
10 16 Tenet Warner

© Official Charts Company 2021

Disney CEO Bob Chapek Cites Home Entertainment Success as Key to Getting Closer to Consumers

For Bob Chapek, what’s old is new again.

Before Chapek become CEO of The Walt Disney Co., he was president of Walt Disney Home Entertainment and driver of a successful packaged-media marketing program that created demand for select Disney classic titles by keeping them temporarily unavailable via the “Disney Vault.”

Flash-forward to the present and Chapek has been focused in part on expediting Disney’s direct-to-consumer retail and streaming access. Speaking June 14 on the virtual Credit Suisse 23rd Annual Communications Conference, Chapek said the DTC business strategy — similarly to home video and transactional VOD in the past — is about getting closer to the consumer.

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Disney’s DTC unit includes streaming video services Disney+; Disney + Hotstar; ESPN+; Hulu; and Star+. The segment had more than 103 million combined subscribers, and posted revenue of $3.5 billion in the fiscal first quarter, up 73% from the previous-year period.

“It’s about having a granular understanding of what the consumption patterns are, and then speaking to the consumers in a way that’s going to be relevant to the content that they want specifically for themselves,” Chapek said. “And by doing so, we’ll drive engagement and consumption.”

Disney+ has taken baby steps into premium VOD, dubbed “Premier Access,” enabling Disney+ subscribers early access to select movies priced at $29.99 purchase-only price. Subsequent retail channels include transactional VOD, electronic sellthrough, DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

“In terms of the relationship that we have with our distribution partners, the key is having a strong symbiotic relationship, and that’s what we’ve got, as they really want Disney content and we bring that value to their platform,” Chapek said.

“So as long as we have a symbiotic relationship, where we bring something they need, we get something that we need. It’s a healthy relationship. And with the wide variety of content that we have in our machine, I think we’ll continue to have that very positive, very productive, very symbiotic relationship.”

When asked whether Disney might separate select Disney brands such as Marvel and Star Wars into standalone streaming platforms, Chapek said the aggregated business model, including combining Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu into a specially-priced combo offering, is working.

“There is sort of a large overlap between people that like Marvel versus people that like Star Wars and people that like Disney,” he said.

“We won’t say no to anything in the future, but right now we’re really happy with our more highly aggregated model that we have, both from a cost standpoint and from a market opportunity standpoint. But again, who knows it could evolve over time as we learn more and more in different regions across the world.”

Lionsgate: Home Entertainment Represented 55% of Fiscal-Year Motion Picture Revenue

While the pandemic wreaked havoc on the theatrical business, home entertainment remained strong for Lionsgate in fiscal year 2021, ended March 31. Home entertainment revenue, which is derived from the sale or rental of feature films and television production movies or series on packaged media and through digital media platforms, represented 55.6%, or $601 million of motion picture revenue in the fiscal year.

That was down about 15% from $704.8 million in home entertainment revenue in fiscal year 2020. The primary decline was in packaged media, which saw total revenue fall almost 46% to $139.5 million from $256.9 million in FY 2020. Lionsgate, which shipped 29 million combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units in the year, attributed the revenue drop to fewer home entertainment releases from the 2021 theatrical slate due to the global pandemic and other issues.

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The decrease in packaged-media revenue was partially offset by increased digital media revenue of $13.6 million, which included titles The Secret: Dare to Dream and Force of Nature. Digital media revenue included the PVOD release of Antebellum, the initial release on a streaming platform of Run and from I Still Believe and Knives Out in 2020. Digital media revenue in fiscal 2020 included significant revenue from John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.

Top-selling digital releases in the year included Antebellum, The Secret: Dare to Dream, The Silencing and Mortal reaching number one on the iTunes movie charts and two titles, Force of Nature and The Secret, debuting at number one on the Comscore On-Demand Chart.

Home entertainment revenue from TV product in fiscal 2021 increased $72 million, or 118.4%, compared with fiscal 2020, driven by digital media revenue for the second syndication license of “Mad Men” and digital media revenue for Power: Season 6, partially offset by digital media revenue in fiscal 2020 for Power: Season 5.

Interestingly, packaged-media sales of television shows increased 67.6% to $5.7 million, from $3.4 million in 2020.