‘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

 

Lionsgate Q1 Home Entertainment Revenue Down, Still Dwarfs Theatrical

Despite a streaming focus, Lionsgate remains reliant on catalog home entertainment for the motion picture segment’s bottom line.

Home entertainment revenue decreased due to combined lower digital-media and packaged-media revenue as a result of fewer retail releases from the fiscal-2021 theatrical slate due to the global pandemic. Digital media revenue in the prior year’s quarter included significant revenue from the fiscal-2020 theatrical slate, which included I Still Believe and Knives Out.

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With scant new releases, Lionsgate reported first-quarter home entertainment revenue of $173 million, which was down about 19% from revenue of $213.8 million in the previous-year period.

Sales of DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies dropped 14% to $34 million from $39.2 million in the previous-year period. Digital sales, which include transactional VOD and premium VOD, fell 12% to $112.2 million from $127.7 million.

Digital sales of television product plummeted almost 47% to $24.5 million, compared with $45.9 million a year earlier. Physical sales topped $2.3 million, compared to just $700,000 during the previous-year period.

As home entertainment took its fiscal licks, the segment continues to dominate theatrical. Box office revenue increased to $28.4 million, up from just $3 million a year ago, but the tally represented just 18% of home entertainment movie revenue.

Theatrical results benefited from The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and Spiral, as theaters began to reopen in certain locations with reduced capacity. In the prior year’s quarter, theaters were mostly closed due to circumstances associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic.

‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ a ‘Hit’ at Weekend Box Office

Lionsgate’s action comedy The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard overcame poor reviews, topping the domestic weekend box office through June 20 with a projected $11.7 million in ticket sales across 3,331 screens. The pandemic-delayed sequel to the 2017 original, featuring the return of Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayak, plus newcomer Antonio Banderas, has generated $17 million since sneak peek showings on June 15.

The movie edged out Paramount Pictures’ enduring A Quiet Place Part II, which generated an estimated $9.4 million, down slightly from the previous weekend when it upset Warner Bros. Pictures’ In the Heights in box office revenue. A Quiet Place Part II has now topped $125 million, making it the top-grossing movie domestically in the pandemic era.

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Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway rounded out the podium with an estimated $6.1 million, bringing the sequel’s total to more than $20 million.

Warner’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It continues to have legs, generating $5.1 million and $53.6 million since its debut three weeks ago. Disney’s Cruella also took in $5.1 million to being its gross above $64.7 million — a notable tally considering the movie is available as a $29.99 Disney+ add-on.

Finally, Heights saw its box office decline to $4.2 million, bringing its total to just shy of $20 million after two weekends. The movie is also streaming on HBO Max.

Lionsgate’s Joe Drake: ‘We Are Very Bullish on the Theatrical Market’

With Hollywood studios in the pandemic era embracing shorter theatrical windows in order to accelerate direct-to-consumer access through premium VOD, home entertainment and streaming, Lionsgate is remaining loyal to exhibitors while also accepting new opportunities to monetize movies.

Speaking May 27 on the Lionsgate fiscal call, Joe Drake, chairman of the motion picture group, said the studio is approaching each movie’s distribution strategy based the economics of the day as the industry moves beyond the pandemic.

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Lionsgate’s Joe Drake

Recent release Spiral: From the Book of Saw topped the seating-challenged domestic box office on consecutive weekends as part of a 21-day exclusive theatrical window, followed by concurrent access via premium VOD.

The June 16 release The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson, will have a 45-day theatrical window, followed by direct-to-consumer access.

In the fiscal year, Lionsgate released 10 movies, four straight to PVOD (The Secret: Dare to Dream, Antebellum, Fatale, Barb and Star Go Vista Del Mar), one to Netflix (Desperados), and five in theaters and PVOD (Words on Bathroom Walls, Fatale, Pinocchio, Chaos Walking and The Courier).

“We certainly have a lot happening in windows, and we have really taken the approach … to look at each film as its own piece of business and how that is best served,” Drake said.

Motion picture segment revenue in the quarter declined about 25% to $292.4 million, compared with $393.3 million in the prior-year quarter, and segment profit declined almost 40% to $61.6 million, compared with $101.2 million last year.

“I think what you’re going to see, and certainly what we’ve experienced, is that we love the theatrical business, we’re working very close with exhibitors, which have been great partners working with us,” Drake said, adding that Lionsgate is working on finding the right way to collaborate with exhibitors, help support the theatrical market, while maximizing the value of its titles.

“I think that’s going to continue for a bit and we’ll see where that settles out,” Drake said. “We are very bullish on the theatrical market. You’re going to see a really big weekend this weekend.”

Indeed, Disney and Paramount Pictures are separately releasing titles Cruella and oft-delayed A Quiet Place Part 2 — tentpole titles Hollywood hopes will drive moviegoers back to the cineplex.

Lionsgate in the current FY 2022 plans to release upwards of 60% of the theatrical slate it had in 2019 and 2020, with distribution back to normal in FY 2023.

“We sort of approach each film agnostically and look at that moment in time, look at release dates like a competition, and the best way to monetize it,” said CEO Jon Feltheimer. “It gives us a lot of flexibility, both from a dating perspective [and] it also gives us more flexibility in terms of how we’re going to ultimately monetize [a movie].”