‘Wonder Woman 1984,’ ‘The Little Things’ Repeat Atop Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Warner had another big week on the Vudu and FandangoNow charts. The studio’s Wonder Woman 1984 again took the top spot on the Vudu chart and its The Little Things repeated atop the FandangoNow chart for the week ended March 28.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

The DC comic-based Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot, became available for digital purchase March 16 following its PVOD rental run. It also came in at No. 4 on the FandangoNow chart.

The Little Things, available via premium VOD rental starting March 19, is a psychological thriller starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto. It follows a Kern County deputy sheriff (Washington), who is sent to Los Angeles for a quick evidence-gathering assignment, but instead becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. The titled landed at No. 4 on the Vudu chart.

Coming in at No. 2 on the Vudu chart was Disney/Pixar’s Oscar-nominated animated film Soul. Featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, the film (No. 9 on FandangoNow) became available for digital purchase March 23.

Taking the bronze on the Vudu chart was Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise. The film stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. The film came in at No. 6 on the FandangoNow chart.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run — available as a premium VOD rental March 4 (and also to Paramount+ streaming subscribers) — took the silver on the FandangoNow chart (No. 6 on Vudu). In the CGI-animated adventure with live action elements, SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing in a plot hatched by Plankton to get the Krabby Patty recipe, and he and his friend Patrick head to the Lost City of Atlantic City to retrieve him. It features appearances by Keanu Reeves and Snoop Dogg, among others.

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Universal’s Oscar-nominated News of the World, which came out for digital purchase March 9, took the bronze on the FandangoNow chart (No. 5 on Vudu). The film stars Tom Hanks as former Army captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, who moves from town to town sharing the news from the far reaches of the globe. He is tasked with transporting a 10-year-old girl (Helena Zengel) taken in by the Kiowa people back to her family.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 28, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Wonder Woman 1984
  2. Soul
  3. Monster Hunter
  4. The Little Things
  5. News of the World
  6. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  7. The Croods: A New Age
  8. Greenland
  9. The Vault
  10. SAS: Red Notice

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 28, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Little Things
  2. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  3. News of the World
  4. Wonder Woman 1984
  5. Boogie
  6. Monster Hunter
  7. The Father
  8. The Croods: A New Age
  9. Soul
  10. The Vault

‘SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ Tops Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Paramount’s animated The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run topped both the Vudu and FandangoNow charts the week ended March 7.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

Available as a premium VOD rental March 4 (and also to Paramount+ streaming subscribers), Sponge on the Run is a CGI-animated adventure with live action elements. In the film, SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing in a plot hatched by Plankton to get the Krabby Patty recipe, and he and his friend Patrick head to the Lost City of Atlantic City to retrieve him. It features appearances by Keanu Reeves and Snoop Dogg, among others.

Available for early digital purchase Feb. 16, Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise, dropped to No. 2 on both charts. It stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures.

The Universal/DreamWorks animated sequel The Croods: A New Age took the bronze on both charts. It’s a followup to 2013’s The Croods that finds the prehistoric family facing a new challenge when they encounter a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family. As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, until a new threat forces them to work together. The voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Mann.

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, which was released Feb. 12 as a 48-hour PVOD rental after debuting on WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max, took the No. 4 spot on the Vudu chart (No. 5 on Vudu). A sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman, the follow-up reunites director Patty Jenkins with star Gal Gadot and moves the setting from World War I to 1980s America, where the DC Comics heroine confronts the challenges of the Cold War.

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STX Films’ The Mauritanian, which recently earned Jodie Foster a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, entered the FandangoNow chart at No. 4 (No. 9 on the Vudu chart). It debuted as a premium VOD rental March 2. Based on the book Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, it’s the true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years.

Lionsgate’s horror reboot Wrong Turn, available for digital purchase Feb. 23, came in at No. 5 on the Vudu chart (No. 8 on the FandangoNow chart). It follows a group of friends who set out to hike the Appalachian Trail. Despite warnings to stick to the trail, the hikers stray off course — and cross into land inhabited by The Foundation, a hidden community of mountain dwellers who use deadly means to protect their way of life.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 7, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  2. Monster Hunter
  3. The Croods: A New Age
  4. Wonder Woman 1984
  5. Wrong Turn
  6. Greenland
  7. Promising Young Woman
  8. Land
  9. The Mauritanian
  10. Willy’s Wonderland

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 7, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  2. Monster Hunter
  3. The Croods: A New Age   
  4. The Mauritanian
  5. Wonder Woman 1984
  6.  Girl in the Basement
  7. Land
  8. Wrong Turn
  9. Vanguard
  10.  Minari

‘Monster Hunter’ Tops Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Sony Pictures’ action-adventure Monster Hunter led the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for the week ended Feb. 21.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise, stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. Also in the cast are Tip “T.I.” Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung and Ron Perlman. The film became available for early digital purchase Feb. 16.

The Universal/DreamWorks animated sequel The Croods: A New Age, newly available to own Feb. 9, took the silver on the Vudu chart and the bronze on the FandangoNow chart. It’s a followup to 2013’s The Croods that finds the prehistoric family facing a new challenge when they encounter a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family. As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, until a new threat forces them to work together. The voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Mann.

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, which was released Feb. 12 as a 48-hour PVOD rental after debuting on WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max, took the No. 2 spot on the FandangoNow chart (No. 3 on Vudu). A sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman, the follow-up reunites director Patty Jenkins with star Gal Gadot and moves the setting from World War I to 1980s America, where the DC Comics heroine confronts the challenges of the Cold War.

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The dystopian disaster film Greenland, which recently became available for digital purchase after a stint as a PVOD rental, fell to No. 4 on both charts. It’s an action thriller that follows a family fighting for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Monster Hunter
  2. The Croods: A New Age
  3. Wonder Woman 1984
  4. Greenland
  5. Willy’s Wonderland
  6. Shadow in the Cloud
  7. Let Him Go
  8. Tenet
  9. Freaky
  10. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Monster Hunter
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. The Croods: A New Age   
  4. Greenland
  5. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  6. Willy’s Wonderland
  7. News of the World
  8. Let Him Go 
  9. Tenet
  10. Promising Young Woman

Data: It’s Not Just a Netflix World

Netflix has started 2021 the same way it ended 2020: On top of the over-the-top world. The latest Nielsen weekly Top 10 streaming VOD chart saw Netflix’s programming again dominating with 90% of the most-viewed programs on the television.

But new data from Reelgood finds Netflix isn’t alone when it comes to the Top 10 services offering original and catalog movies and TV shows. Indeed, among the top domestic streaming services based on total hours of content, Disney/Comcast-owned Hulu ranked No. 1, followed by Fox Entertainment’s AVOD platform Tubi and Amazon Prime Video. Netflix ranked fourth, ahead of online TV service Philo, ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV, Fubo TV, CBS All Access, Vudu and IMDb TV.

Reelgood scans data on movies TV shows across more than 150 SVOD, AVOD and TVOD platforms.

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Hulu also ranked No. 1 based on hours of exclusive content, followed by Netflix, Philo, Prime Video, Tubi, Fubo TV, CBS All Access, Pluto TV, IMDb TV and HBO Max.

Netflix ranked No. 1 based on hours of “fresh” and original content, ahead of Hulu and Philo, and HBO Max and Hulu, respectively.

In a move that likely comes as no surprise, many of the major SVOD services are steadily increasing their catalog of original TV shows at the expense of licensed content. Netflix is the biggest mover with original series making up 39% of its TV shows catalog through Jan. 15 — up 14 share points from the same period in 2019. While HBO Max does have 31% more originals this year than HBO Now did last January, the number of licensed TV shows on the service also went up to 330 from 40, hence the dramatic decline in catalog real estate occupied by its homegrown content.

“In an effort to retain and acquire new subscribers, the leading SVOD platforms are working to maintain a high percentage of content in their libraries that cannot be found elsewhere,” read the report.

Among content genres, Tubi and Hulu topped action/adventure and animation, respectively. Crunchyroll and Hulu topped anime and comedy, respectively, while Hulu and Philo topped crime and documentary, respectively, according to the report.

Netflix and Hulu ranked No.1 for family and drama, while Tubi and Hulu ranked firs for horror and romance. Netflix and Tubi were No. 1 for sci-fi and westerns, respectively.

Nielsen: Disney’s ‘Soul’ Tops Weekly Streaming Chart

The debut of Disney/Pixar’s Soul on Christmas made the animated movie No. 1 on Nielsen’s weekly Top 10 streaming chart Dec. 21 to 27, 2020. The movie generated 1.67 billion minutes streamed on televisions, topping Netflix’s final week exclusively streaming “The Office,” with 1.43 billion minutes across 192 episodes. Netflix’s original series, “Bridergton,” tracked 1.2 billion minutes across eight episodes.

Disney made additional news by placing two programs on the chart, the first SVOD to do so in the Netflix-dominated era. The week also saw four movies in the Top 10 for the first time.

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Persons 2+ Total Minutes Viewed – Week of 12/21/20 – 12/27/20
Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

Top 10 of 2020: The Biggest Home Entertainment News Stories

With the coronavirus pandemic raging, the big Hollywood movie studios made unprecedented changes in their film-release strategies in 2020, rushing top-tier titles into the home and boosting new and existing streaming services.

It truly was a year like no other.

Here are the top 10 home entertainment news stories of 2020 as chosen by the Media Play News editorial staff.

1. Blockbusters Enter the Stream: With movies theaters shuttered during the pandemic, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. took the unprecedented move to send top tier theatrical releases to their sister streaming services.

First, Walt Disney Studios offered the live-action blockbuster Mulan exclusively to Disney+ subscribers over the Labor Day weekend as a $29.99 add-on to unlock access to the movie months before its regular availability — marking Disney’s first-ever Premier Access (PVOD) release and a sea change in studio window strategy. The studio defended the decision — which was followed by sending Pixar Animation’s Soul to the Disney+ streaming service, this time at no additional cost, on Christmas — as a reality of the times. “We thought it was a really nice gesture to our subscribers during the holiday period to provide [Soul] as part of the service,” said Disney CEO Bob Chapek. “I think what we’ve learned with Mulan is that there’s going to be a role for [PVOD] strategically with our portfolio of offerings.”

After debuting such top-tier titles as Roald Dahl’s The Witches on its new streaming service HBO Max, WarnerMedia in December shocked the industry by announcing that the streaming service would offer subscribers free access to all Warner Bros. theatrical releases through 2021 concurrently with their box office debut.  The new strategy rankled exhibitors and creators, while offering moviegoers an alternative to the cineplex during the pandemic. The studio bowed Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max and in theaters Christmas day. Notably, WW84 posted the largest opening weekend domestic box office during the pandemic with $16.7 million — driven in part by 10,000 watch parties, or small groups renting out theaters for private screenings.

2. HBO Max Debuts: WarnerMedia in May launched its much-anticipated HBO Max subscription streaming service at $14.99 per month — the most-expensive SVOD platform on the market — with several glaring problems. The platform, which promised an ad-supported edition in 2021, bowed without consumer access via the Roku or Amazon Fire TV platforms (reportedly representing 70% of Internet access), which contributed to stalling the Max sub growth out of the gate. The fact that existing services HBO Go and HBO Now were also still available didn’t help matters, confusing consumers about what they were actually getting with an HBO Max subscription. (Both were mercifully laid to rest two months after HBO Max’s launch.) WarnerMedia eventually inked distribution deals with Roku and Amazon, helping it generate 38.6 million combined HBO/HBO Max subscribers through Sept. 30.

3. Peacock Launches: NBCUniversal April 15 launched its own streaming video platform, Peacock, the media giant’s first over-the-top video platform and an SVOD service with an ad-supported option. The company initially made the premium service available at no cost to Comcast’s X1 and Flex (Internet-only) customers before rolling it out nationally in July. It quickly generated 20 million subscribers. To boost the offering, NBCUniversal wrestled away exclusive streaming rights to the popular comedy series “The Office” from Netflix. The series, to begin streaming in a tiered plan on Peacock Jan. 1, 2021, had been a longtime draw for Netflix.

4. TVOD Has Its Moment: After it and other studios rushed titles to early digital release during the pandemic, Universal Pictures made the bold move to drop Trolls World Tour from its theatrical slate to distribute the animated sequel directly to consumers in April via premium VOD. The strategy generated $100 million in revenue in 28 days and helped revive the PVOD business model — and the transactional VOD business at large — as other studios soon joined suit by rushing titles to PVOD. Soon, titles that might have topped the box office were heading up the charts of such transactional services as Redbox On Demand, FandangoNow and Vudu.  The latter two TVOD services in April became sister services when NBCUniversal’s Fandango acquired the 10-year-old Vudu from Walmart.

“All the press is about SVOD and AVOD services, ad-supported or subscription, but transactional sort of quietly had a moment in 2020,” said Fandango VP of home entertainment Cameron Douglas during a November panel.

5. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em … : In a peace offering to theater chains, Universal Pictures inked pacts with AMC Theatres and Cinemark affording the studio early PVOD access for select theatrical releases in exchange for splitting the home entertainment revenue with exhibitors. Universal and subsidiary Focus Features picked up the right to offer consumers PVOD access to movies with less than $50 million in domestic opening weekend ticket sales. Under the pact, movies with a higher box office could be released on PVOD 31 days after their theatrical bow. As a result, Universal maintained a steady year-end theatrical slate, spearheaded by The Croods: A New Age, Freaky and News of the World, among other titles.

6. Hail to New Chiefs: In February, former Disney home entertainment head Bob Chapek was named CEO of The Walt Disney Co., with previous boss Bob Iger assuming executive chairman duties. Chapek, who most recently headed Disney’s Parks & Recreation unit, said he was well-suited directing Disney’s renewed focus on direct-to-consumer business.

In another big studio shift, ex-Hulu boss Jason Kilar became CEO of WarnerMedia in the spring and proceeded to announce layoffs — among them longtime executive Ron Sanders — and other shifts to refocus the studio on streaming.

Meanwhile, Netflix in July announced that 20-year veteran and chief creative officer Ted Sarandos would share co-CEO duties with co-founder/co-CEO Reed Hastings. The move appeared to signal a reduction in executive duties and possible retirement for Hastings, who quickly downplayed the shared corporate duties as a strategic maneuver. “Let me be really clear: I’m in for a [another] decade,” Hastings said.

7. Movie Theaters Face Existential Crisis: Movie theaters worldwide shuttered in mid-March due to the expanding coronavirus pandemic. The situation caused havoc for exhibitors, with the world’s largest, AMC Theatres, struggling to remain solvent and later opening some theaters with limited seating and strict safety protocols. Indeed, No. 2 exhibitor Regal Cinemas threw in the towel in the fall, remaining closed indefinitely. Meanwhile, studios shifted blockbuster movies online, a further blow to the exhibition business.

8. AVOD Marches on: Ad-supported VOD upped its growth trajectory with Pluto TV (owned by Viacom) and Tubi (acquired in March by Fox Corp.) expanding distribution worldwide — the latter with first-run Fox Entertainment programming such as “The Masked Singer,” among other programs. Redbox increased its digital presence, launching an ad-supported VOD platform called Redbox Free On Demand.

9. Catalog in the Spotlight: Catalog titles topped the charts on disc and digital as the new-release pipeline slowed due to the coronavirus. Studios polished catalog titles for 4K Ultra HD release, such as Paramount’s Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop, Sony’s six-film “Resident Evil” collection, and Warner’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. With the pandemic raging, resonating and topical titles such as Sony’s Groundhog Day and Warner’s Contagion caught on with consumers. “It’s uncanny how it kind of mimics what’s going on in the real world today,” Jim Wuthrich, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Games, said of Contagion.

10. Streaming Short Timer: It wasn’t all good news for digital delivery. Quibi, the $1.7 billion mobile device-centric, short form-content video streaming service, announced just six months after starting operations that it was shuttering. Launched by DreamWorks Animation founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and eBay founder Meg Whitman, in the end Quibi reportedly had fewer than 1 million subscribers willing to pay $4.99 monthly for ad-supported content no longer than 10 minutes.

Top 10 of 2020: The Best-Selling Disc Releases

Consumers stuck at home due to coronavirus pandemic quarantines gave home entertainment a boost as a valuable tool to pass the time. While digital delivery was the main beneficiary, physical media got a brief boost as well as a result of impulse buys and deep discount bins providing quick and easy entertainment for bored shoppers.

However, as studios began delaying their blockbuster releases and new-release options began to dwindle over the summer, the list of the year’s top-selling movies on disc became dominated by movies from 2019 released in the first few months of 2020.

For those titles that did get a release as 2020 rolled on, the general move toward digital delivery made it less likely physical media sales of those titles could match the tallies of the year’s early successes. The pandemic further limited options for shoppers wanting physical media by restricting store access and hampering production and distribution channels. The number of replication facilities already being down to a minimum due to the years-long decline of the disc market meant initial runs of discs couldn’t be mass-produced in the same numbers they had before.

Seven of the year’s top 10 titles have been on the list since April. Eight have been on the list since May. And the top four titles have been the same since March, and in the same order since April.

Here are the top selling movies in terms of combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales as reported by NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service. (Updated Jan. 12, 2021)

1. Frozen II (Disney) — The 2013 original Frozen had been the highest-grossing non-photorealistic animated film of all time until the sequel topped it with $1.45 billion worldwide as 2019 came to a close. And with the first film among the most successful DVD and Blu-ray sellers of the past decade, the sales success of Frozen II came as no surprise, and it has pretty much been the year’s top seller since it hit shelves Feb. 25. It spent three weeks at No. 1 from February into March, making it the top seller for both months. And it had enough to secure the year’s top spot before it became available on streaming service Disney+ March 15, the studio offering it to subscribers months ahead of schedule as a result of the pandemic.

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney/Lucasfilm) — The ninth and supposedly final episode of the “Skywalker” saga earned $515 million at the domestic box office, the lowest of Disney’s three sequels George Lucas’ classic “Star Wars” films. The March 31 disc release of Rise of Skywalker arrived just as pandemic lockdowns were taking hold. That and tepid fan response to the sequel trilogy in general likely prevented consumers from buying it in the types of droves the original and prequel films received upon their home video releases. As with Frozen II, most of its top 10 sales strength came from its initial release, as it hasn’t been among the top titles shoppers were picking up later in the year. It still managed to top weekly sales for three weeks in April, and was the top seller overall for that month.

3. Joker (Warner) — The controversial comic book adaptation based on the famed Batman villain kicked off the year as the top seller for the month of January after earning $335 million from U.S. theaters and more than $1 billion worldwide. On the weekly chart, however, it was No. 1 only for the week after its Jan. 7 disc debut, and again 10 months later when it led Thanksgiving week disc sales.

4. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony Pictures) — The third “Jumanji” movie didn’t quite match the levels of its 2017 predecessor, but at $320 million domestically was still a massive hit, and has been a consistent staple of the home entertainment top 20 since its March 17 disc release.

5. 1917 (Universal) — Director Sam Mendes’ artfully crafted and very personal tale of a pair of couriers trying to prevent a hopeless battle during World War I picked up a number of Oscars prior to its March 24 disc debut, and has been one of the more popular discs as the pandemic continued, particularly resonating during the weeks of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

6. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks) — DreamWorks Animation’s sequel to 2016’s Trolls was the first big hit of the pandemic era, as it mostly eschewed theaters in favor of a premium VOD strategy that reportedly earned it more than $100 million. After it arrived on DVD and Blu-ray July 7, it was the top seller for the month of July, and has spent a combined four weeks at No. 1 — two weeks in mid-July and two at the end of August, when it danced into the yearly top 10. It is thus far the only disc release of a post-pandemic theatrical or VOD title to climb into the top 10.

7. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) — Released on disc May 19 after a better-than-expected $146 million domestic box office haul, Sonic would seem to have been the right disc at the right time as the highest-profile theatrical-to-disc amid a pandemic drought. It spent six consecutive weeks as the weekly No. 1 seller, the most since the original Frozen spent eight weeks at No. 1 in 2014. That made Sonic the top seller in June, but wasn’t enough to give it a spot in the top 10 sellers of the year just yet, a sign of how much the pandemic tilted sellthrough to the digital side of things. In fact, it wouldn’t be until November until it took its place among the year’s top 10 disc sellers, after getting an end-of-year boost when Paramount re-released it as a limited-edition Blu-ray with pack-in character poster cards.

8. Midway (Lionsgate, 2019) — As with 1917, director Roland Emmerich’s film about U.S. Naval campaigns in World War II from Pearl Harbor to mid-1942 likely benefited from the audience’s appreciation of the military as the pandemic raged on. The film, released on disc Feb. 18, hadn’t been much of a box office performer at the end of 2020, earning just $56.8 million domestically and $126.7 million worldwide against a reported $100 million budget.

9. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Disney) — The sequel to 2014’s Maleficent, continuing the story of the Sleeping Beauty villain as played by Angelina Jolie, earned $113.9 million domestically in its late-2019 theatrical run. It has been sliding down the top 10 disc sellers list since its Jan. 14 DVD and Blu-ray debut, ending January as the No. 2 title behind Joker. But it hasn’t gotten the same holiday sales season bump as Joker and some of the other titles on the list that have maintained their spots or moved up.

10. Bad Boys for Life (Sony Pictures) — The third “Bad Boys” film, coming 17 years after the second, was a big box office hit, earning $206 million domestically after bowing in theaters in January, which thanks to the pandemic held up as the top domestic grosser of the year. So it’s hardly a surprise that it would be a top seller on disc as well, arriving on DVD and Blu-ray during the early stages of the pandemic April 21.

Top 10 of 2020: The Biggest Theatrical Releases

Media Play News this week will publish a daily “top 10” to carry us through what is traditionally the slowest week of the year for home entertainment news stories. We begin with the top 10 theatrical releases of 2020, courtesy of Box Office Mojo.

Not surprisingly, the top 10 movies of 2020, ranked by domestic box office earnings, most were released prior to the March 11 declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of a global coronavirus pandemic.

We are only including movies that opened this year, not carryovers from 2019.

No. 1: Bad Boys for Life, $206,305,244: The third “Bad Boys” film, from Sony Pictures, opened in theaters on Jan. 17 and was released digitally 74 days later, on March 31, due to the mid-March closure of theaters. At the time, its early digital release set a record for the shortest theatrical-to-home window. The movie — starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence — debuted April 21 on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD. It is a sequel to 1995’s Bad Boys and 2003’s Bad Boys II.

No. 2: Sonic the Hedgehog, $148,974,665: Based on the popular video game franchise, this Paramount Pictures release debuted in theaters on Feb. 14 and, like Bad Boys for Life, was given an early digital release, becoming available for digital purchase on March 31. The film was subsequently released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, and DVD, and for rental on demand, on May 19. The film wound up topping the weekly disc sales charts for six consecutive weeks and the “Watched at Home” chart for four weeks.

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No. 3: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, $84,158,461: This DC Comics superhero film, a sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, was released theatrically by Warner Bros. on Feb. 7 and made available for digital purchase, at a premium price, on March 24.  Two weeks later the film could be rented, at a regular price, through digital retailers. It wasn’t until May 12 that Birds of Prey was issued on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD, but the film still managed to find its way to the top of both the disc rental sales and rental charts.

No. 4: Dolittle, $77,047,065: This Universal Pictures comedy made its big-screen debut Jan. 17 and already had home release dates locked in when the pandemic was declared. The film, a reboot of the original 1967 Doctor  Dolittle, was released through digital retailers on March 24 and arrived on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD on April 7. Robert Downey Jr. plays Dr. Dolittle, a man who can talk to animals. The cast also includes the voice talents of Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Selena Gomez, John Cena and Tom Holland, among others.

No. 5: The Invisible Man, $70,410,000: This Universal Pictures release has just opened theatrically Feb. 28 when the WHO declared a global COVID-19 pandemic two weeks later. Movie theaters closed March 16 and Universal that same day announced it would immediately release its current theatrical slate into home entertainment distribution channels. The Jason Blum-produced thriller, a reimagining of  was initially released at a premium rental rate of $19.99. It was subsequently made available for purchase or rental through digital retailers, at regular prices, on May 12, and two weeks later was issued on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The film is a reimagining of the 1897 H.G. Wells novel and follows a woman (Elisabeth Moss) who thinks she is being stalked by her abusive lover even after his apparent suicide.

No. 6: The Call of the Wild, $62,342,368: The adventure film was released theatrically in the United States on Feb. 21 by 20th Century Studios. It was given an early digital release on March 27 by 20th Century Studios owner the Walt Disney Co. and issued on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray Disc and DVD on May 12. Based on Jack London’s novel of the same name, it stars Harrison Ford. Set during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, the film follows a dog named Buck as he is stolen from his home in California and sent to the Yukon, where he befriends an old outdoorsman and begins a life-altering adventure.

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No. 7: Onward, $61,555,145: This computer-animated fantasy film was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released theatrically by Walt Disney Pictures on March 6, five days before the WHO declared a global coronavirus pandemic. On March 20 Disney announced the film’s immediate availability for digital purchase at a premium price, and further said it would make the film available through its Disney+ streaming service on April 3. The film was finally issued on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray Disc and DVD on May 19. Onward, featuring the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer, follows two elf brothers who set out on a quest to find an artifact that will temporarily bring back their dead father.

No. 8: Tenet, $57,929,000: The only film released during the pandemic period to crack the top 10, the latest mind-bending thriller from director Christopher Nolan hit theaters Sept. 3 after being delayed from July. Nolan and Warner Bros. had hoped the film would re-ignite the box office as the pandemic was winding down, but it didn’t happen. With audiences still too wary about the coronavirus to flock to theaters, it debuted with only about $10 million in the U.S., well below its pre-pandemic expectations (it marked Nolan’s lowest domestic opening since his breakout indie hit Memento nearly 20 years ago, and his lowest domestic gross since 2006’s The Prestige. Nolan’s previous film, 2018’s Dunkirk, opened to $50.5 million en route to $189.7 million domestically. The convoluted story didn’t help matters either, involving secret agents moving forwards and backwards in time trying to either start or prevent World War III. Despite a global haul of $362 million, Warner reportedly lost $100 million on the release, which likely prompted the studio to announce its controversial strategy of releasing its film slate through 2021 simultaneously in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service, a move that Nolan slammed.

No. 9: The Croods: A New Age, $36,725,650: The Universal Pictures sequel opened theatrically Nov. 25 and became available to home audiences on Dec. 17, at a PVOD rental price of $19.99. The computer-animated film, directed by newcomer  Joel Crawford, features returning voice actors Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman, with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann, and Kelly Marie Tran.

No. 10: The Gentleman, $36,471,795: This British-American action comedy film was written, directed and produced by Guy Ritchie. The film — with an ensemble cast includein Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant — follows an American marijuana kingpin in England who is looking to sell his business, setting off a chain of blackmail and schemes to undermine him. The Gentlemen was released theatrically in the United States on Jan. 24 by STXfilms. It was originally slated for digital release on April 7, but the date was moved up to March 24 due to the pandemic. The film was issued as scheduled on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray Disc and DVD on April 21.

This list was updated on Jan. 10, 2021.

‘Freaky’ Tops Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Universal Pictures’ horror comedy Freaky topped both the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for the week ended Dec. 6.

Both are transactional video-on-demand services owned by Fandango.

Available as a premium rental, the film, starring Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn, follows 17-year-old Millie Kessler who spends her days trying to survive high school and the cruel actions of the popular crowd. When she becomes the latest target of the Butcher, the town’s infamous serial killer, her senior year becomes the least of her worries.

The drama Let Him Go, also available as a premium rental, fell from No. 1 the previous week to No. 2 on both charts. It stars Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as a retired sheriff and his wife who leave their Montana ranch to rescue their young grandson from the clutches of a dangerous family living off the grid in the Dakotas.

Taking the bronze (falling from No. 2) on the Vudu chart was Love and Monsters, available for digital purchase. The film takes place seven years after a “monsterpocalypse” — giant monsters taking over the Earth’s surface — forces all of humanity to move into underground colonies.

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Coming in at No. 3 on the FandangoNow chart was Fatman, starring Mel Gibson as a frustrated Santa Claus who is targeted by a rich kid who received a lump of coal for his selfishness. The kid hires an assassin to kill Santa.

With the holidays approaching, classics Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation landed among the top 10.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Dec. 6, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Freaky
  2. Let Him Go
  3. Love and Monsters
  4. Buddy Games
  5. The New Mutants
  6. Elf
  7. Fatman
  8. The Iron Mask
  9. Unhinged
  10. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended Dec. 6, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Freaky
  2. Let Him Go
  3. Fatman
  4. Buddy Games
  5. The New Mutants
  6. Unhinged
  7. Wander
  8. Come Play
  9. Love and Monsters
  10. Elf

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Ratched’ Tops Weekly Streaming Video Chart

Netflix remains almost uncontested when it comes to popularity of streaming video programming, according to Nielsen. The ratings firm Oct. 15 said the SVOD behemoth again dominated its weekly Top 10 chart, grabbing nine of 10 spots. It’s a trend Netflix has replicated weekly since Nielsen launched the chart in September.

For the period of Sept. 14 to 20, Netflix original series “Ratched,” starring Sarah Paulson, generated 972 million minutes of viewing consumption over eight episodes. The series edged out the previous week’s winner, “Cobra Kai,” which had 964 million minutes over 20 episodes. Filling out the podium were reruns of “The Office,” which tracked 902 million minutes over 192 episodes.

Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” was the only non-Netflix delivered show in the Nielsen chart, at fifth place.

Nielsen SVOD content ratings track Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix via its proprietary Nielsen National TV Panel and domestic television viewing.

Rank Service Series Episodes Minutes Streamed (Millions)
1 Netflix “Ratched” 8 972
2 Netflix “Cobra Kai” 20 964
3 Netflix “The Office” 192 902
4 Netflix “Lucifer” 75 869
5 Amazon “The Boys” 13 743
6 Netflix “Away” (2020) 10 729
7 Netflix “Grey’s Anatomy” 361 685
8 Netflix “Criminal Minds” 277 625
9 Netflix “NCIS” 353 553
10 Netflix “Shameless” 121 534