Comic Actioner ‘Argylle’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

The comic actioner Argylle topped the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended March 10.

The Universal Pictures film arrived for premium digital purchase and rental March 5. In the film, when an author’s spy novels threaten to expose a real-life espionage organization, she begins a globetrotting race to save her life and untangle her imagination and reality. The cast includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Henry Cavill, Sofia Boutella, Dua Lipa, Ariana DeBose, John Cena and Samuel L. Jackson.

Dropping from the top spot to No. 2 on the chart was the Jason Statham actioner The Beekeeper, available for digital purchase after a premium digital rental run. The Amazon-MGM Studios film follows a former operative of a powerful organization known as the Beekeepers (Statham), who upends his cover life and embarks on a brutal revenge mission to dismantle corruption at the highest levels of society.

Warner Bros.’ Wonka remained at No. 3 on the chart. Based on the iconic character at the center of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the musical is on sale for digital purchase. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, the adventure introduces audiences to a young Willy Wonka, as he becomes the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker.

Remaining at No. 4 on the chart was Sony Pictures rom-com Anyone But You, which is available for digital purchase and rental. It follows Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell), who look like the perfect couple. But after an amazing first date, something happens that turns their fiery hot attraction ice cold — until they find themselves unexpectedly thrust together at a destination wedding in Australia.

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Falling from No. 2 to No. 5 on the chart was Warner Bros. DC comics-based sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, available for digital purchase and rental. The superhero sequel follows Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as he is balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father. Orm (Patrick Wilson), Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis.

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

  1. Argylle
  2. The Beekeeper
  3. Wonka
  4. Anyone But You
  5. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
  6. Migration
  7. Poor Things
  8. The Iron Claw
  9. Napoleon
  10. Trolls Band Together

Jason Statham Actioner ‘The Beekeeper’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

The Jason Statham actioner The Beekeeper topped the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended March 3.

Available for digital purchase after a premium digital rental run, the Amazon-MGM Studios film rose from No. 6 on the chart the previous week. It follows a former operative of a powerful organization known as the Beekeepers (Statham), who upends his cover life and embarks on a brutal revenge mission to dismantle corruption at the highest levels of society.

Rising from No. 4 to No. 2 on the chart was Warner Bros. DC comics-based sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, newly on sale for digital purchase. The superhero sequel follows Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as he is balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father. Orm (Patrick Wilson), Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis.

Warner Bros.’ Wonka fell from No. 2 to No. 3 on the chart. Based on the iconic character at the center of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the musical is available for regular digital purchase after a premium run. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, the adventure introduces audiences to a young Willy Wonka, as he becomes the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker.

Falling from the top spot to No. 4 on the chart was Sony Pictures rom-com Anyone But You, which debuted for digital purchase Feb. 20. It follows Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell), who look like the perfect couple. But after an amazing first date, something happens that turns their fiery hot attraction ice cold — until they find themselves unexpectedly thrust together at a destination wedding in Australia.

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Debuting No. 5 on the chart was Searchlight Pictures’ Oscar-nominated Poor Things, which debuted for digital purchase Feb. 27. It’s the tale of the fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 3, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Beekeeper
  2. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
  3. Wonka
  4. Anyone But You
  5. Poor Things
  6. Migration
  7. Lisa Frankenstein
  8. The Iron Claw
  9. Wish
  10. Mean Girls (2024)

Sony Rom-Com ‘Anyone But You’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

The Sony Pictures rom-com Anyone But You topped the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended Feb. 25.

The film, which debuted for digital purchase Feb. 20, follows Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell), who look like the perfect couple. But after an amazing first date, something happens that turns their fiery hot attraction ice cold — until they find themselves unexpectedly thrust together at a destination wedding in Australia.

After three weeks at No. 1, Warner Bros.’ Wonka dropped to No. 2 on the chart. Based on the iconic character at the center of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the musical became available for premium digital rental and sale Jan. 30. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, the adventure introduces audiences to a young Willy Wonka, as he becomes the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker.

Debuting at No. 3 on the chart was Paramount’s musical remake Mean Girls (2024), which became available for premium digital purchase and rental Feb. 20. This version is based on the Broadway musical that was based on the 2004 film about high school girls written by Tina Fey. 

Dropping from No. 3 to No. 4 on the chart was the DC comics-based sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, available from Warner Bros. for regular digital purchase after a premium-priced run. The superhero sequel follows Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as he is balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father. Orm (Patrick Wilson), Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis.

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Dropping from No. 2 to No. 5 on the chart was A24’s wrestling drama The Iron Claw, available for digital purchase. The film tells the true story of the Von Erich family, who dominated professional wrestling in Texas in the 1980s. Under the shadow of their domineering father and coach (Holt McCallany), brothers Kevin (Zac Efron), Kerry (Jeremy Allen White) and David (Harris Dickinson) seek sports fame.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 25, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Anyone But You
  2. Wonka
  3. Mean Girls (2024)
  4. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
  5. The Iron Claw
  6. The Beekeeper
  7. Trolls Band Together
  8. Migration
  9. The Marvels
  10. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

TVOD Service Vudu Changing Name to Fandango at Home

Vudu, Fandango’s transactional video-on-demand streaming service, is changing its name to Fandango at Home.

“In a few weeks, we’re changing our name to Fandango at Home, making Fandango your single destination for movie tickets and home entertainment,” read an announcement sent to customers. “This change won’t affect your streaming experience, and you library will stay right where it’s always been.”

“We are excited to unite our on-demand streaming service Vudu more closely with Fandango, into what will now be known as Fandango at Home,” said Cameron Douglas, SVP of OTT & Streaming, Fandango. “Our goal for the name change is to better align our products under one brand, reinforcing Fandango as the destination for premium entertainment at home and at the theater. For our loyal Vudu customers, no action is needed on their part, their movie and TV libraries and collections will be right where they’ve always been, at their fingertips and on their favorite screens. Fandango remains committed to super-serving fans with all their entertainment needs, and we are excited about the opportunities this rebranding brings to deliver a seamless and enjoyable service to our users.” 

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This isn’t the first time the service has instituted a transactional service name shift. In August 2021, after Fandango acquired Vudu from Walmart in 2020, the company combined its FandangoNow and the acquired Vudu under the Vudu moniker.

Customers with questions about the change can visit this link.

Warner Bros.’ ‘Wonka’ Again Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

Warner Bros.’ Wonka again topped the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended Feb. 11.

Based on the iconic character at the center of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Warner Bros.’ Wonka became available for premium digital rental and sale on Jan. 30. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, the adventure introduces audiences to a young Willy Wonka, as he becomes the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker.

Rising from No. 3 to No. 2 on the chart was the Jason Statham actioner The Beekeeper, which is available for premium digital rental. In the film, a former operative of a powerful organization known as the Beekeepers (Statham) upends his cover life and embarks on a brutal revenge mission to dismantle corruption at the highest levels of society.

Falling from No. 2 to No. 3 on the chart was the DC comics-based sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which became available from Warner Bros. for premium digital purchase and rental Jan. 23. The superhero sequel follows Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as he is balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father. Orm (Patrick Wilson), Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis.

Remaining at No. 4 on the chart was the Illumination animated film Migration, available for premium digital rental and sale from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment starting Jan. 23. The comedy follows the Mallard family as it embarks on a journey south for the winter to Jamaica via New York City, only for their well-laid plans to go awry, leading to new friends and unknown horizons.

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Landing at No. 5 on the chart was Bleecker Street’s I.S.S., available for premium digital rental and sale. The sci-fi drama follows a fight between U.S. and Russian astronauts to take over the International Space Station as worldwide conflict breaks out on Earth.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 11, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Wonka
  2. The Beekeeper
  3. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
  4. Migration
  5. I.S.S.
  6. American Fiction
  7. Wish
  8. Trolls Band Together
  9. The Book of Clarence
  10. Thanksgiving

Warner Bros.’ ‘Wonka’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

Warner Bros.’ Wonka debuted atop the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended Feb. 4.

Based on the iconic character at the center of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Warner Bros.’ Wonka became available for premium digital rental and sale on Jan. 30. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, the adventure introduces audiences to a young Willy Wonka, as he becomes the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker.

Falling from the top spot to No. 2 on the chart was the DC comics-based sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which became available from Warner Bros. for premium digital purchase and rental Jan. 23. The superhero sequel follows Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as he is balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father. Orm (Patrick Wilson), Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis.

Debuting at No. 3 on the chart was the Jason Statham actioner The Beekeeper, which is available for premium digital rental. In the film, a former operative of a powerful organization known as the Beekeepers (Statham) upends his cover life and embarks on a brutal revenge mission to dismantle corruption at the highest levels of society.

Falling from No. 2 to No. 4 on the chart was the Illumination animated film Migration, available for premium digital rental and sale from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment starting Jan. 23. The comedy follows the Mallard family as it embarks on a journey south for the winter to Jamaica via New York City, only for their well-laid plans to go awry, leading to new friends and unknown horizons.

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Dropping from No. 3 to No. 5 on the chart was Disney’s animated Wish, available for digital purchase starting Jan. 23. In the musical comedy, Asha, a sharp-witted idealist in the kingdom of Rosas, makes a powerful wish that’s answered by Star, a ball of boundless energy. Soon, Asha and Star must face a formidable foe — the ruler of Rosas — to save her community and prove that when one brave human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things happen.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 4, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Wonka
  2. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
  3. The Beekeeper
  4. Migration
  5. Wish
  6. Trolls Band Together
  7. The Marvels
  8. Night Swim
  9. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
  10. Napoleon

Superhero Sequel ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

The DC comics-based sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom debuted atop the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended Jan. 28.

The superhero film, which became available from Warner Bros. for premium digital purchase and rental Jan. 23, follows Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as he is balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father. Orm (Patrick Wilson), Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis.

Debuting at No. 2 on the chart was the Illumination animated film Migration, available for premium digital rental and sale from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment starting Jan. 23. The comedy follows the Mallard family as it embarks on a journey south for the winter to Jamaica via New York City, only for their well-laid plans to go awry, leading to new friends and unknown horizons.

Debuting at No. 3 on the chart was Disney’s animated Wish, available for digital purchase starting Jan. 23. In the musical comedy, Asha, a sharp-witted idealist in the kingdom of Rosas, makes a powerful wish that’s answered by Star, a ball of boundless energy. Soon, Asha and Star must face a formidable foe — the ruler of Rosas — to save her community and prove that when one brave human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things happen.

Dropping from the top spot to No. 4 on the chart was Disney’s Marvel Studios superhero sequel The Marvels, available for digital purchase. In the film, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole, her powers are entangled with super-fan Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and Carol’s estranged niece, astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). Together, the unlikely trio must team up and work together to save the universe.

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Finally, debuting at No. 5 on the chart was the horror film Night Swim, available for premium digital rental and sale from Universal. In the film, a collaboration between Blumhouse and Atomic Monster from the producers of M3GAN, Wyatt Russell stars as a former major league baseball player, forced into early retirement by a degenerative illness, who moves into a new home with his wife (Oscar nominee Kerry Condon) and their two children. The new home comes complete with a backyard swimming pool, but a deep secret surfaces and unleashes a malevolent force that will drag the family into the inescapable depths of terror.

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

  1. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
  2. Migration
  3. Wish
  4. The Marvels
  5. Night Swim
  6. Trolls Band Together
  7. Ferrari
  8. Napoleon
  9. Silent Night
  10. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Superhero Sequel ‘The Marvels’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

Disney’s superhero sequel The Marvels debuted atop the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended Jan. 21.

In the Marvel Studios film, available for digital purchase, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole, her powers are entangled with super-fan Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and Carol’s estranged niece, astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). Together, the unlikely trio must team up and work together to save the universe.

Remaining at No. 2 on the chart was Universal’s Trolls Band Together, available for digital purchase. In the animated film, the third in the franchise, as Poppy (Anna Kendrick) grows closer to her now boyfriend Branch (Justin Timberlake), she discovers his secret past as a member of her favorite boyband, BroZone, with his four estranged brothers.

Falling from the top spot to No. 3 on the chart was the biopic Napoleon, Apple Original Films’ historical drama from director Ridley Scott. Available for premium digital rental and sale starting Jan. 9 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix as the French emperor and military leader. The film looks at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine (Vanessa Kirby).

Landing at No. 4 on the chart was Warner Bros.’ new take on The Color Purple, available for premium digital rental and sale starting Jan. 16. The film follows Celie (Fantasia Barrino in her major motion picture debut, reprising her 2005 Broadway role), who is torn apart from her sister Nettie (Halle Bailey) and her children and faces many hardships in her life, including an abusive husband simply called Mister (Colman Domingo). With the support of sultry singer Shug Avery (Taraji P. Henson) and stepdaughter Sofia (Danielle Brooks, Tony-nominated for the role on Broadway), Celie ultimately finds strength in the unbreakable bonds of a new kind of sisterhood.

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Dropping from No. 3 to No. 5 on the chart was Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Based on the Suzanne Collins best-selling novel of the same name, the latest installment in the “Hunger Games” franchise is available for premium digital rental and sale. The prequel, set 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute, follows a young Coriolanus as he unites with Lucy Gray Baird in the 10th Hunger Games and battles his instincts for both good and evil.

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

  1. The Marvels
  2. Trolls Band Together
  3. Napoleon
  4. The Color Purple
  5. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
  6. The Boys in the Boat
  7. Oppenheimer
  8. Killers of the Flower Moon
  9. Next Goal Wins
  10. Thanksgiving

Top 10 for 2023: The Biggest Home Entertainment Stories of the Year — Transactional

The year 2023 saw the entertainment business hit with two strikes — one by the actors and one by the writers — that slowed the production pipeline and added to the ongoing upheaval in the industry. Roiled by the walkout, ongoing disruption in the aftermath of the pandemic, the growth of streaming and the continued erosion of disc sales, the transactional business struggled to compete with the gush of streaming content.

Here is a countdown of the top 10 home entertainment news stories of 2023 in the transactional business — disc and digital — as selected and ranked by the Media Play News editorial staff:

10. Oppenheimer Shortage

The much-maligned disc business got a significant confidence booster in November when reports surfaced that demand for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray copies of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Oppenheimer was so great that retailers were running out. UPHE promised a quick restock, but in the meantime retail-exclusive editions of the film began commanding big prices on auction sites such as eBay, with copies of a Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook reaching asking prices in the $200 range by the end of the year.

9. Disney’s Epiphany

The Walt Disney Co., stung by its aggressive approach to streaming, appeared to rediscover the transactional business this year, giving films generous windows for digital purchase and no longer neglecting the physical disc. In August, Disney announced that several of its most popular Disney+ streaming series, including “The Mandalorian,” “WandaVision” and “Loki,” would be packaged into “Collector’s Edition” 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and Blu-ray Discs chock-full of bonus features.  One month later, Disney announced its most extravagant Blu-ray Disc boxed set ever: The Disney Legacy Animated Film Collection, consisting of 100 classic on Blu-ray Disc, digital codes for each title, a copy of the original theatrical poster art, a collectible lithograph from Disney Animation’s new musical comedy Wish, and a collectible crystal Mickey ears hat with exclusive Disney 100 engraving. The retail price: $1,500.

8. Courting Collectors

While the DVD frenzy was initially fueled by families buying movies their kids would watch over and over again, the target audience for the mature, and much-smaller, disc business in 2023 was the collector. Studios were mining their libraries for classics they deemed worthy of 4K release and either issuing themselves or licensing them to independents; no surprise, then, that 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray sales were actually up, even though the overall disc business experienced another double-digit decline. Studios also revved up their retail exclusives, many of them handsomely packaged Steelbooks with gobs of extras.

7. No More Red Envelopes

Netflix in September pulled the plug on its legacy disc rental business, which birthed the company 26 years ago as well as the subscription model Netflix would later use to launch its streaming service. “Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members, but as the DVD business continues to shrink, that’s going to become increasingly difficult,” Netflix said. “Making 2023 our final season allows us to maintain our quality of service through the last day and go out on a high note.” Renting DVDs and, later, Blu-ray Discs by mail was Netflix’s sole revenue source for its first 10 years in business, but after launching its streaming service disc revenue plummeted. The company generated less than $146 million from disc rentals in 2022, a 20% drop, while first-quarter 2023 rental revenue was just $32 million. The final rental, which shipped Sept. 29 in its signature red envelope: the Coen Brothers’ 2010 remake of True Grit.

6.  Distribution Disruption I

Ingram Entertainment, once the largest distributor of home entertainment products, in September announced it is getting out of the DVD and Blu-ray Disc business. “Expenses are exceeding sales [so it’s] time to exit,” chairman and CEO David Ingram told Media Play News. The La Vergne, Tenn.-based company had been one of the prime champions for a uniform Tuesday street date, and remained at the forefront of distribution through waves of retail consolidation and the transition of the business from VHS rental to DVD sellthrough. Ingram in 2019 became even bigger when it swallowed up its chief competitor, Baker & Taylor.

5. Party On

The gala launch parties in and around Hollywood for films making their DVD debuts were a staple of the late 1990s and early 2000s, but gradually faded away with the rise of streaming. In 2023, studios once again began celebrating the disc and TVOD release of their major films, beginning in January with Disney hosting a release party for The Menu at the Blockbuster pop-up on trendy Melrose Avenue. Since then, we’ve seen a dance party at the California Science Center for Disney’s The Little Mermaid, a making-of documentary screening for Universal Pictures’ Oppenheimer, a Venice Beach party for Disney’s A Haunting in Venice and a pizza party for Paramount’s  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, attended by Seth Rogan and other filmmakers.

4. Retail Retreat

Brick-and-mortar retail was even less kind to the venerable physical disc in 2023 than it had been in 2022, when the big story was Walmart cutting its DVD/Blu-ray Disc floor space by 20%. Media Play News executive editor John Latchem in September reported that the disc sections at most Target stores have been reduced to an endcap for new-release DVDs and Blu-rays, and about one aisle for catalog titles, “while 4K editions all but disappeared from the chain’s stores….” A month later, Best Buy, which in the late 1990s led the charge by big retailers to take over the DVD sellthrough business, announced it would be phasing out DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays at its 1,000+ stores as well as online — including the exclusive Steelbooks prized by collectors.

3. Distribution Disruption II

In August, it was reported that Walmart was in talks with Studio Distribution Services (SDS) about helping manage parts of its physical media business. SDS is the joint venture formed by Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. in April 2021 to distribute discs in North America. The venture is headed by Eddie Cunningham, a former president of UPHE. Sources told Media Play News that Walmart issued a request for proposal (RFP) and selected SDS. Walmart reportedly gives other studios and independent suppliers a certain deadline to come aboard. Cunningham said that while SDS “was initially set up for Warner Bros., Universal and their partners, it was built in a way that would allow it to scale up easily.”

2. PVOD Redux

A major development in 2023 was a growing number of theatrical titles being made available for digital purchase or rental in as little as 18 days after their theatrical openings, at a premium price. What’s known as premium video-on-demand, or PVOD, has long been a studio dream, and one that became a reality in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic shut theaters, leaving Hollywood with no option other than to premiere films at home. But as the pandemic faded from the headlines, so did PVOD — until this year, amid the growing realization that streaming on its own was unsustainable.

1. Window Treatment

The top story in the transactional space in 2023 was the return of windows. Three studios that previously had released most of their big theatricals simultaneously to traditional home entertainment (digital and disc) and their sister streaming services — Max at Warner Bros., Paramount+ at Paramount and Disney+ at Disney — shifted back to the old way of doing things, making their films available for digital or physical purchase or rental several weeks before they were dispatched to streaming.

View Media Play News‘ top 10 streaming stories of 2023 here.

‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

The concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Extended Edition) topped the chart of the 10 most-popular films on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu for the week ended Dec. 17.

The release, available for premium digital rental Dec. 13, Swift’s birthday, includes three songs from the tour not shown in theaters: “Long Live,” “The Archer” and “Wildest Dreams.”

Falling from the top spot to No. 2 on the chart was director Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, available for premium digital purchase and rental starting Dec. 5. Based on a true story and set in 1920s Oklahoma, the drama depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins and Jillian Dion.

Rising from No. 10 to No. 3 on the chart was 2oth Century Studios’ The Creator, available for digital rental and digital purchase. Set amid a future war between humans and AI, it follows an ex-special forces agent (John David Washington) who is recruited to kill an AI architect who has developed a mysterious weapon that could end humankind.

Remaining at No. 4 on the chart as the holidays approach was the live action Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carrey. It’s on sale for digital rental and purchase.

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Falling from No. 3 to No. 5 on the chart was Universal’s Oppenheimer, available for digital purchase. The Christopher Nolan biopic tells the story of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), whose landmark work as the director of the Manhattan Project’s Los Alamos Laboratory created the first atomic bomb. 

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Dec. 17, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Extended Version)
  2. Killers of the Flower Moon
  3. The Creator 
  4. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  5. Oppenheimer
  6. The Abyss
  7. True Lies 
  8. Priscilla
  9. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  10. Sound of Freedom