HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’ Top New Show, Netflix’s ‘Locke & Key’ Top Returning Show Anticipated in August

HBO’s “House of the Dragon” was the top anticipated new show, Netflix’s “Locke & Key” was the most anticipated returning show, and Bullet Train was the top anticipated movie on the Whip Media charts for August.

“House of the Dragon,” which in addition to airing on HBO starts streaming Aug. 21 on HBO Max, is the much-anticipated prequel to “Game of Thrones,” set 200 years before that hit series and chronicling the saga of the House of Targaryen.

“Locke & Key,” season three of which debuts on Netflix Aug. 10, is a fantasy horror drama based on the comic book series of the same name. It follows a family that takes residence in the family home, Keyhouse, after the father is murdered.

Sony Pictures’ Bullet Train is an action comedy starring Joey King, Brad Pitt, Karen Fukuhara and Sandra Bullock. The film, which debuts Aug. 5, follows a trained killer (Pitt) who wants to give up the life but is pulled back in by his handler (Bullock) to acquire a briefcase on a bullet train.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users, according to the company. TV Time’s “Anticipation Report” is based on data from those users.

 

Most Anticipated New Shows for August:

  1. “House of the Dragon” (HBO) — Aug. 21
  2. “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” (Disney+) — Aug. 17
  3. “Andor” (Disney+) — Aug. 31
  4. “The Sandman” (Netflix) — Aug. 5
  5. “I Am Groot” (Disney+) — Aug. 10

 

Most Anticipated Returning Shows for August:

  1. “Locke & Key” (Netflix) — Aug. 10
  2. “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix) — Aug. 12
  3. “Reservation Dogs” (Hulu) — Aug. 3
  4. “See” (Apple TV+) — Aug. 26
  5. “Kevin Can F**k Himself” (AMC+) — Aug. 22

 

Most Anticipated Movies for August:

  1. Bullet Train — Aug. 5
  2. Day Shift — Aug. 12
  3. Prey — Aug. 5
  4. Bodies Bodies Bodies — Aug. 5
  5. Luck — Aug. 5
  6. Look Both Ways — Aug. 17
  7. Beast — Aug. 19
  8. Orphan: First Kill — Aug. 19
  9. Secret Headquarters — Aug. 12
  10. They/Them — Aug. 5

Netflix Greenlights ‘The Gray Man’ Movie Sequel and Spin-Off Film

Following the successful release of The Gray Man this past weekend, where the Ryan Gosling actioner debuted as the No. 1 movie in 92 countries, Netflix is cementing plans for the IP to become a major spy franchise. The Gray Man is based on the best-selling book series by Mark Greaney.

The Gray Man, which is already a favorite with a 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, is now in development with Gosling and directors Joe and Anthony Russo set to return in a sequel. The Russos and AGBO’s Mike Larocca will produce along with Joe Roth and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum for Roth Kirschenbaum Films, according to Netflix. 

The movie’s co-writer Stephen McFeely (The Electric State, Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: Civil War) is writing the script.

The audience reaction has been nothing short of phenomenal,” directors Joe and Anthony Russo said in a joint statement. “With so many amazing characters in the movie, we had always intended for the Gray Man to be part of an expanded universe, and we are thrilled that Netflix is announcing a sequel, as well as a second script that we’re excited to talk about soon.”

The spin-off film, written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Deadpool, Zombieland) is set to explore a different element of storyline’s universe. The logline is being kept under wraps.

The Gray Man is the third film from AGBO to premiere on Netflix, and the company’s second consecutive debut at No. 1 worldwide on the streamer. AGBO’s 2020 Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth, is the fifth most popular film on Netflix, and has a sequel to be released on Netflix in 2023.  

“The Russos delivered an edge-of-your-seat spectacle that audiences around the world are loving,” said Scott Stuber, head of global film, at Netflix. “We’re excited to continue to partner with the team at AGBO as they build out The Gray Man universe.”

‘The Gray Man,’ ‘Virgin River’ Top Weekly Whip Media Streaming Charts

Netflix’s “Virgin River” topped the Whip Media chart of streaming originals, while the service’s The Gray Man led the chart of streaming movies among U.S. consumers the week ended July 24.

Season four of “Virgin River” began streaming July 20. Despite not knowing whether her baby belongs to her deceased husband, Mark or Jack, Mel begins the season with a sense of optimism. For years she yearned to be a mother and her dream is one step closer to reality. While Jack is supportive and excited, the question of paternity continues to gnaw at him.

The Gray Man, which started streaming July 22, stars Ryan Gosling, Billy Bob Thornton and Chris Evans. In the film, when the CIA’s most skilled operative — whose true identity is known to none — accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, a psychopathic former colleague puts a bounty on his head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which began streaming on Disney+ June 22, rose from No. 3 to No. 2 on the streaming movies chart. The Marvel Comics-based sequel stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange, master of the mystic arts. In the film, Strange meets a teenage girl from a parallel world who has the power to travel between the multiverses.

Falling from the top spot to No. 3 on the streaming movies chart was Persuasion, which started streaming on Netflix July 15. It stars Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis and Henry Golding and is based on the Jane Austen novel of the same name about a woman who longs to rekindle a lost romance.

Rising from No. 4 to No. 2 on the streaming originals chart was Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” season two of which began streaming in weekly episodes June 28. In the season, following the shocking death of Arconia Board President Bunny Folger, Charles, Oliver and Mabel race to unmask her killer. However, three (unfortunate) complications ensue – the trio is publicly implicated in Bunny’s homicide, they are now the subjects of a competing podcast, and they have to deal with a bunch of New York neighbors who all think they committed murder.

Falling from the top spot to No. 3 on the streaming originals chart was Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Part two of season four of the Duffer Brothers’ science-fiction horror drama debuted July 1. In the season, the friends are separated for the first time, navigating the complexities of high school. Meanwhile, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.

 

Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended July 24:

  1. “Virgin River” — Netflix (Season Premiere)
  2. “Only Murders in the Building” — Hulu
  3. “Stranger Things” — Netflix
  4. “Big Brother” (U.S.) — Paramount+
  5. “The Umbrella Academy” — Netflix
  6. “The Boys” — Prime Video
  7. “Solar Opposites” — Hulu
  8. “Resident Evil” — Netflix
  9. “The Orville” — Hulu
  10. “The Bear” — Hulu

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers July 22-24:

  1. The Gray Man — Netflix
  2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — Disney+
  3. Persuasion — Netflix
  4. The Sea Beast — Netflix
  5. The Bob’s Burgers Movie — Hulu/HBO Max
  6. Girl in the Picture — Netflix
  7. The Lost City — Paramount+
  8. Spider-Man: No Way Home — Starz
  9. The Batman — HBO Max
  10. The Man From Toronto — Netflix

‘Stranger Things’ Keeps Top Spot on Parrot’s Demand Chart; ‘Resident Evil’ Joins Top 10

Netflix’s supernatural thriller “Stranger Things” remained No. 1 on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals U.S. rankings the week ended July 22, as well as Parrot’s list of overall TV shows. The series had a 21.7% drop in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity, giving it 194.9 times the demand of an average series.

The Amazon Prime Video superhero series “The Boys” remained No. 2 on the digital originals chart. It had a 22.2% rise in demand expressions to give it 51.1 times average demand. “The Boys” was No. 7 on Parrot’s list of overall TV series.

The Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” rose a spot to No. 3 with 35.5 times average demand after a 0.7% rise in demand expressions.

Up a spot to No. 4 was Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building.” It had 32.1 times average demand after a 3.7% drop in demand expressions.

HBO Max’s “Our Flag Means Death,” a comedy about a wealthy British fop who decides to become a pirate captain in the 18th century, rose two spots to No. 5. The show had 28.6 times average demand after a 6.5% drop in demand expressions.

No. 9 was Netflix’s “Resident Evil,” a new adaptation of the video game franchise. The series had a 255.3% spike in demand expressions after being released July 14, pushing it into the top 10 from No. 156 a week earlier. It had 25.7 times average demand.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The top non-streaming overall TV series in terms of online demand was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” at No. 2 with 79.2 times average demand.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through 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. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

 

Reelgood: Netflix Dominates Streaming Week, But Hulu’s ‘The Bear’ No. 1 Show

Netflix scored an impressive five titles, including the movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion and the animated feature The Sea Beast, to dominate the week through July 20, according to new data from Reelgood.com. The top 10 ranking uses first-party data from its 5 million users in the U.S. to see how they interact with movies and TV shows on the platform in real-time.

The long-running video game franchise Resident Evil came in at No. 5, and the Taiwanese horror film Incantation at No. 8. Hulu’s hit kitchen drama “The Bear” took the No. 1 spot as FX announced a second season last week.

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Top 10 Shows and Movies of the Week

1. “The Bear” (Hulu)
2. “Better Call Saul” (AMC+, Netflix)
3. Persuasion (Netflix)
4. The Sea Beast (Netflix)
5. “Resident Evil” (Netflix)
6. “The Old Man” (Hulu)
7. “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
8. Incantation (Netflix)
9. “The Terminal List” (Amazon Prime Video)
10. Spider-Man: No Way Home (Starz)

Nielsen: Netflix Upped June U.S. TV Market Share to 7.7% — Thanks to ‘Stranger Things 4’

Nielsen July 21 disclosed that Netflix’s popularity among TV viewers reached a new record level in June. Thanks to the availability of “Stranger Things” season four, the subscription streaming video pioneer saw its June viewership (in minutes) reach 7.7% of the total U.S. TV market — up from 6.6% in June 2021.

Netflix’s gain rippled through the media landscape as streaming video represented nearly 34% of all TV viewership, narrowly behind cable (35.1%) and network television at 22.1%. Indeed, the month saw streaming’s largest market share and lowest for legacy pay-TV and broadcast. Streaming in the home on the television increased 23.5% from June 2021.

Netflix ended the month with more than 1.33 billion minutes viewed, which was more than the combined minutes viewed for CBS (753 million) and ABC (472 million). Other networks included NBC with 597 million minutes viewed, Fox (323 million), Disney+ (245 million), Amazon Prime Video (174 million), Hulu (128 million) and Apple TV+ (22 million).

Netflix, in its second-quarter shareholder letter, referenced the impact of Stranger Things 4 on its viewership. The streamer said the new season of the sci-fi series generated the largest viewership for an English-language show on the platform.

Season four also re-ignited interest in past episodes of “Stranger Things” with season one through three experiencing a greater than five-fold increase in viewing in the month after the release of season four (vs. the prior month).

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“[The new season] also showcased the effectiveness of our marketing strategy in driving conversation around our titles,” Netflix wrote in the letter. “When we deliver shows and movies that members are talking about in large numbers, we can influence pop culture, build passion for Netflix and create an experience that is differentiated and difficult-to-replicate.”

Indeed, the new season catapulted the 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” to the top of the music charts. Metallica also enjoyed a return to the charts in the U.S. and U.K. with their 1986 song “Master of Puppets” after being featured in season four. Netflix said the cumulative Twitter volume for “Stranger Things” continues to outpace both “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and Top Gun: Maverick, highlighting the big conversation around this title and reinforcing that “our binge versus one week at a time release strategy drives lots of water cooler conversation.”

And TV viewing minutes.

Shania Twain Doc ‘Not Just A Girl’ Coming to Netflix July 26

Recording artist Shania Twain’s “Not Just A Girl,” a career-spanning documentary produced by Mercury Studios and directed by Joss Crowley, will be available July 26 on Netflix.

Since the ’90s, Twain has generated a catalog of some of the biggest hits that have stood the test of time. The doc takes viewers from her humble beginnings in Timmins, Ontario, where she was raised poor and inspired by the story of Dolly Parton, through her initial record label signing in Nashville, and onto her career-defining moment meeting her future husband and rock producer Mutt Lange ahead of writing, recording and releasing her breakthrough album The Woman In Me.

Produced by Mercury Studios, the documentary features studio session footage from throughout her career and brand new interviews with Twain at home. The doc brings the viewer up to the present day and the recording of Shania’s forthcoming sixth album.

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Netflix Acquiring Animation Studio Animal Logic

Netflix is acquiring Animal Logic, the Australian animation studio for an undisclosed price. The deal aims to support Netflix’s growing animated film slate, including Academy Award-nominated Over the Moon, Klaus and recently released The Sea Beast.

Completion of this transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Netflix said it hopes to close the transaction later this year.

The 30-year-old Animal Logic is headquartered in Sydney, with a second studio set up in Vancouver, Canada in 2015. The company has worked on Hollywood theatrical hits, including Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, the “Lego Movie” franchise and Peter Rabbit 1 & 2, in addition to a catalog of visual effects work for The Matrix, Moulin Rouge!, 300 and The Great Gatsby.

The announcement builds on the existing partnership between the two companies, with a full slate of films that include The Magician’s Elephant, directed by Wendy Rogers, and the recently announced The Shrinking of the Treehorns, directed by Ron Howard.

“Netflix has been investing in animation over the past few years and this furthers our commitment to building a world-class animation studio,” Amy Reinhard, VP of studio operations, at Netflix, said in a statement.

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Led by CEO and co-founder Zareh Nalbandian, the Animal Logic teams and leadership will remain operating under the Animal Logic brand and will fulfill production of existing and ongoing commitments and continue to collaborate and work with longstanding studio partners. 

“After 30 years of producing great work with great people, this is the perfect next chapter for Animal Logic,” said Nalbandian. “Our values and aspirations could not be more aligned with Netflix, in working with diverse content makers, producing innovative and engaging stories for audiences around the world. Our collective experience and talent will open new doors for all our teams and will empower a new level of creativity in animation.”

Netflix’s growing original slate of animated features and shorts also include Academy Award-nominated Robin, Robin, Kris Pearn’s The Willoughbys, Back to the Outback directed by Clare Knight, Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood from Richard Linklater, as well as upcoming releases, including Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild, Nora Twomey’s My Father’s Dragon, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, and an Aardman sequel to Chicken Run.  Recent animated film acquisitions by Netflix include the Academy Award-nominated The Mitchells vs. The Machines, Vivo!, Spongebob: Sponge on the Run and Wish Dragon

Reed Hastings Takes Cautious Victory Lap; Pending Ad-Supported Plan Won’t Have Access to All Content

After Netflix disclosed it lost less than 1 million subscribers in the second quarter, co-founder/co-CEO Reed Hastings appeared relieved while circumspect on the fact the streamer still lost subs — just not the 2 million net global subscribers it had forecast to shed.

“We’re talking about losing 1 million instead of 2 million,” Hastings said on the July 19 webcast. “Our excitement is tempered by less bad results.”

One quarter removed from criticizing his company’s content offerings in part for the streamer’s 200,000 net subscriber loss, Hastings reversed course 90 days later, contending programming such as the recent release of the fourth season of “Stranger Things” helped retain subscribers.

“We’re executing really well on the content side,” he said.

Indeed, with much of Hollywood eyeing the streaming pioneer/behemoth’s subscriber second-quarter (ended June 30) numbers with rapt attention, many observers saw the fortunes of studio rivals HBO Max, Paramount+, Disney+, Hulu and even Amazon Prime Video hanging in the balance.

Netflix re-elevated its dominating global subscriber count past 220 million, while executives disclosed the service plans to launch its less-expensive ad-supported subscription plan in early 2023. Hastings also proclaimed that linear TV would be gone in five-to-10 years.

“Looking forward, streaming is working everywhere,” he said. “Everyone is pouring in … definitely the end of linear TV over the next five, 10 years. So, we’re very bullish on streaming.”

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The market responded approvingly, sending Netflix shares up more than 7% in after-market trading. Shares are up almost 4% July 20 in heavy trading.

When asked if the ad-supported subscription would include access to all programming, co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the undisclosed priced tier would include most content.

“The vast majority of what people watch on Netflix, we can include in the ad-supported tier,” Sarandos said. “So, there are some things that don’t that we’re in conversation with the studios on. But if we launch[ed] the product today, the members in the [ad-supported plan], would have a great experience. And we will clear some additional content, but certainly not all of it.”

Greg Peters

Separately, Greg Peters, chief operating officer/chief product officer reiterated that Netflix’s recently disclosed deal with Microsoft for the service’s pending ad-supported streaming plan, and move to charge subscribers in select South American countries an additional fee for sharing their passwords, was well-thought-out strategy.

“We’re looking at this as an extension of two things we think we have historically done, which is one, be very consumer-centric and think about the consumer experience,” Peters said. “We think we have a real opportunity here.”

He said the March rollout of the $2.99 monthly password surcharge in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, and subsequent bow in August to subscribers in Argentina, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Guatemala who share their accounts with non-subs, have been well thought out.

“We’re not asking customers to not share, but to pay a little more to add a member or additional home,” Peters said. “We’ve been working behind the scenes on this for almost two years. And now this is where the rubber hits the road.”

‘Persuasion,’ ‘Stranger Things’ Top Weekly Whip Media Streaming Charts

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” again topped the Whip Media chart of streaming originals, while the service’s Jane Austen adaptation Persuasion led the chart of streaming movies among U.S. consumers the week ended July 17.

Persuasion, which started streaming July 15, stars Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis and Henry Golding. It’s based on the Austen novel of the same name about a woman who longs to rekindle a lost romance.

Part two of season four of “Stranger Things,” the Duffer Brothers’ science-fiction horror drama, debuted July 1. In the season, the friends are separated for the first time, navigating the complexities of high school. Meanwhile, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

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Debuting at No. 2 on the streaming movies chart was The Bob’s Burgers Movie, an animated musical comedy based on the TV show. It started streaming on both Hulu and HBO Max July 12.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which began streaming on Disney+ June 22, fell from the top spot to No. 3 on the streaming movies chart. The Marvel Comics-based sequel stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange, master of the mystic arts. In the film, Strange meets a teenage girl from a parallel world who has the power to travel between the multiverses.

Rising to No. 2 from No. 5 on the streaming originals chart was Disney+’s “Ms. Marvel.” Based on the Marvel Comics, the series follows Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Avengers fangirl who struggles to fit in until she gets her own powers. It started streaming in weekly episodes June 8.

Falling back to No. 3 from No. 2 on the streaming originals charts was “The Boys,” a black comedy series based on the comic book of the same name that follows the battle against abusive superheroes. Season three started streaming on Prime Video June 3.

Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended July 17:

  1. “Stranger Things” — Netflix
  2. “Ms. Marvel” — Disney+
  3. “The Boys” — Prime Video
  4. “Only Murders in the Building” — Hulu
  5. “The Umbrella Academy” — Netflix
  6. “Big Brother” (U.S.) — Paramount+
  7. “The Orville” — Hulu
  8. “Resident Evil” — Netflix (Series Premiere)
  9. “The Terminal List” — Prime Video
  10. “The Bear” — Hulu

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers July 15-17:

  1. Persuasion — Netflix
  2. The Bob’s Burgers Movie — Hulu/HBO Max
  3. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — Disney+
  4. Zombies 3 — Disney+
  5. Girl in the Picture — Netflix
  6. The Sea Beast — Netflix
  7. Spiderhead — Netflix
  8. The Batman — HBO Max
  9. Spider-Man: No Way Home — Starz
  10. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — HBO Max