NPD: Record October Video Game Revenue Tops $4.39 Billion

Consumer demand for video game hardware, software and accessories continues unabated. The games market saw a 16% revenue uptick in October to a record $4.39 billion, from revenue of $3.78 billion in the previous-year period, according to new data from The NPD Group. That’s the sixth-consecutive month of revenue increases across all market segments.

Through 10 months of the year, consumer spending exceeds $46.7 billion, up 12% from $41.7 billion during the same period last year.

Despite ongoing product shortages, game console sales skyrocketed 82% to $472 million, from $259 million last year. Accessories increased 5% to $158 million, from $150 million. Video game revenue increased 11% to $3.75  billion, from $3.38 billion. Mobile gaming revenue jumped 12% to more than $2 billion, from $1.78 billion last year.

Nintendo Switch regained the monthly hardware sales No. 1 ranking after months of Sony PlayStation 5 domination. Through 10 months, the PS5 leads in revenue while the Switch leads in unit sales. Nintendo recently announced it was considering a next-generation Switch, which was last launched in 2017.

JustWatch: ‘Halloween,’ ‘Squid Game’ Top October Streamed Movie, TV Show

Universal Pictures’ 2018 Halloween reboot and Netflix’s South Korean hit “Squid Game” were the most-streamed movie and TV show in October, according to new data from JustWatch.

The company’s international streaming guide tracks more than 20 million users per month across 54 countries.

The movie data is noteworthy considering Halloween is a catalog title, yet still bested new releases Dune (Warner Bros.) and 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy. Both movies generated significant box office during their theatrical runs, including topping their respective North American weekend debuts.

As expected, “Squid Game” has been on a ratings rocket ride since launching on Netflix in mid-September. After a slow start, the series about cash-strapped game show contestants subjected to fatalistic consequences, skyrocketed in buzz and popularity.

Netflix said more than 142 million subscriber homes watched the show in its first 28 days of release. The series even made news during the NBA pre-season when Los Angeles Lakers’ stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis got into a conversation about the series’ ending — at a press event.


AMC, Cinemark, Imax Tout Best Monthly Box Office (October) Since Pandemic Began

Despite a sluggish Halloween box office with the annual trick-or-treat event falling on a Sunday, AMC Theatres, Cinemark and Imax said the month of October was their highest monthly box office since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Data firm Box Office Mojo said October revenue across all domestic exhibitors neared $622 million, which was the highest monthly total since the $638 million generated in February 2020.

Leawood, Kan.-based AMC, which touts itself as the largest exhibitor in the world with 950 locations and 10,500 screens, said the month was also the highest in ticket sales in Europe and other foreign markets.

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The month featured major theatrical releases including Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, MGM’s latest James Bond actioner No Time To Die, Universal Pictures’ Halloween Kills, MGM’s The Addams Family 2, and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Dune, among others

Plano, Tex.-based Cinemark, which operates 323 domestic locations, said the October results were due to studios releasing tentpole titles sidelined by the pandemic.

“Congratulations to our studio partners for creating must-see big-screen content with something for everyone,” CEO Mark Zoradi said in a statement.

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said Dune and No Time to Die together accounted for 20% of the exhibitor’s $100 million in global ticket sales.

“It is clear the global film industry has reached a turning point,” Gelfond said on the exhibitor’s fiscal call. “The movies are back. Imax is delivering global box office grosses in line with or above pre-pandemic highs as consumers return to theatres around the world.”

This month (November) features major studio releases include Eternals (Disney/Marvel), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony Pictures), Encanto and West Side Story (both Disney), Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony Pictures), Matrix Resurrections (Warner Bros. Pictures) and Sing 2 (Universal).

Roku Premiering Three New Horror-Themed Originals This Month

Roku Oct. 8 announced it is launching three horror-themed original TV shows later this month. The titles: “When the Street Lights Go On,” “50 States of Fright” and “The Expecting” will debut on a weekly basis as a part of a “Freak Out Friday” campaign to bow streamers new horror content on The Roku Channel.

“When the Street Lights Go On,” tells the story of a double homicide in a small midwestern suburb that rattles the lives of a group of teenagers and sends investigators searching for answers in the fall of 1995The show premieres today (Oct. 8).

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“50 States of Fright,” executive produced by Sam Raimi, is a horror anthology with terrifying tales state by state. The show will premiere Oct. 15.

“The Expecting,” starring Anna Sophia Robb, Rory Culkin, and Mira Sorvino, is an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller about a mysterious pregnancy and the potential dark secrets surrounding it. The show premieres Oct. 29.

The latest Roku Originals release come the heels of the company’s announcement it is partnering with Lionsgate to create its first-ever original feature-length film based on Emmy-winning show “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” It follows the launch of 23 Roku Original titles in August.

NPD: October Video Game Sales Up 14%

Ahead of new-generation video game console launches, consumers spent big in October on hardware, software and accessories, according to new data from The NPD Group. Total revenue spiked 14% to $3.84 billion, from $3.37 billion during the previous-year period. Through 10 months of the year, game spending topped$37.5 billion, which is 20% higher than the same period in 2019.

Despite Sony and Microsoft launching new consoles this month for the first time in seven years, hardware spending in October increased 41% to $259 million, compared with $183.6 million last year. Nintendo again dominated hardware sales thanks to its Switch platform. Year-to-date hardware sales are up 23% to $2.5 billion, from $2 billion last year.

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“Mobile, subscription, hardware and accessories were among the largest growth segments,” analyst Mat Piscatella said in a statement.

Indeed, accessory revenue climbed 23% to $148 million, from $120 million — driven in part by sales of the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller. Spending through 10 months is up 25% to record $1.8 billion, from $1.44 billion.

Content spending in October  — driven by EA’s soccer-themed FIFA 21 jumped 12% to $3.43 billion, from $3.06 billion, bringing year-to-date spending to $33.2 billion, up 19% from $27.89 billion a year ago. The title passed EA’s perennial chart topper Madden 21.

“Nine of the top 20 best-selling titles of October were published by Nintendo,” Piscatella said.